Oh the weather out side is frightful, but it doesn’t mean your skin has to be during the harsh winter months. There are plenty of ways you can take care of yourself and your skin in the winter, and this article will tell you how.
Do you worry about rosy cheeks and a nose that resembles that of Rudolph? Fear those cracked lips and dry hands. The ultimate downside of winter as regards to your skin is that the air contains a much lower moisture content and evidently means even less moisture is getting to your skin. This will leave it cracked, dry, itchy and sore. There are a number of ways you can combat it, anywhere from buying the correct creams, to seeking out professional help.
1) Visit a professional. If you visit a store, the assistance will only be able to help you so far, by advising general creams. By visiting a professional, they will be able to analyse your skin and tell you exactly what your skin needs, and more specifically what creams will help it. They aren’t necessarily going to be high end products either- they certainly don’t need to be. Your skin just needs to be able to respond to them in a positive way.
2) Alter your moisturiser. Although you think that your moisturiser is great and you don’t have a problem during summer months, during the winter months you may need one that is more oil based (rather than water based), so that it forms a protective layer over your skin, which will help to retain that all important moisture. It also needs to be a cream that will let your skin breath and won’t clog up your pores. HINT: Most night creams are oil based. Avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil and almond oils are great ones to use.
3) Don’t forget, you still need to apply sunscreen in the winter! The sun can still damage your skin, even in the coldest months of the year, so SPF is vital, and it should be applied 30 minutes prior to going outside, and reapplied regularly (if outdoors for a long period). Chose an SPF that is factor 50 or higher.
4) Your lips also suffer in the winter and need protecting from daily elements, so applying a SPF lip balm will benefit them. Make sure it contains petroleum jelly and avoid any that sting or irritate your lips.
5) A really easy tip is to wear gloves. The skin on your hands is thinner than on other parts of the body and as discussed, its harder to keep them moist. Wearing gloves will keep them warm and help to retain the moisture, which will refrain them from drying out. Wearing rubber gloves while doing the dishes or other chores will help to keep them moisturised- moisturising after you have taken the gloves off is also a must.
6) Similarly, avoid wearing wet gloves, as this will cause irritation and will dry them out causing cracking.
7) It might seem a bit drastic, but using humidifiers in your home will help. The heating may be great, but it dries out the air, which isn’t good for the skin. However, humidifiers disperse moisture evenly.
8) If your skin is suffering from dryness this winter, then try to avoid anything that will cause it further damage such as harsh peels or masks. Instead of this, purchase cleansing milk or a mild foaming cleanser along with an alcohol free toner. Only use face masks that are deeply hydrating to the skin rather than a clay based one. This will only draw out moisture.
9) We get that in the winter you want nothing more than a bath that’s so hot it will pretty much boil you alive, but its not great for the skin. Having a boiling hot bath will break down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to loss of moisture and remove oils from your skin. Just settle for a nice warm bath, rather than scolding! You should also try to keep your bath (or shower) to a maximum of ten minutes, as the more time you spend in water, the more dehydrated your skin becomes. HINT: Placing some baking soda or oatmeal into your lukewarm bath will help to relieve dry, itchy skin.
10) Only use products that are gentle on your skin. Try to avoid any that mention being fragranced, or contain alcohol, alpha hydroxy acid, or retinoids.
11) As tempting as it may be to curl up by an open fire, you should know that it does have its downside and will unfortunately cause your skin to dry out. If your skin is already dry then try to limit your time in front of the fire place, or it you really can’t bare the thought of that, at least limit your distance.
12) You need to dress comfortably. Wearing woolly jumpers is great and it will keep you warm, but it can also irritate your skin, so wearing silk or cotton underneath is a great way to protect it. Also, when doing your laundry, you can use a detergent that is labelled hypoallergenic.
13) Stay hydrated. Keep your skin healthy and hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water. It’s easy to be drawn more towards hot drinks like tea or hot chocolate, but these wont keep you as hydrated. Eating nutritious, moisture-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, will also help to keep your skin nice and hydrated.