Is cold weather skin care important? You bet it is. As soon as the mercury dips, your skin gets a double whammy that strips it of its natural moisture. The cold temperatures cause dry skin, as well as the heating in your home and office.
Though keeping dry skin at bay during winter does require consistency, there are simple tips that can help you keep beautiful skin throughout the cold winter months.
1. Turn down the temperature. Keep the heat set at a slightly lower than comfortable temperature during the winter, and wear a sweater around the house, if needed. In addition, ensure that the water temperature of your baths and showers is not too high, either. If you use an electric blanket or bed warmer, turn it on to warm the bed before you retire, and then off when you get into bed. All these extra warming devices dry your skin out even further. Not only will your skin be better off for you lowering the temperature a degree or two, but you’ll save money, as well.
2. Increase the humidity. Adding moisture to the air in your home will help prevent dry skin. You can use an inexpensive room humidifier, or have one added to your home’s heating system. Even sitting a pot of water near heat vents helps reduce the dryness in the air, which helps reduce moisture loss in the skin. Your sinuses will thank you, too. Since moist air feels warmer than dry air, adding a humidifier will help your room feel warmer, too.
3. See a dermatologist. Especially in winter, it’s important to use the right products to moisturize your skin. A dermatologist can analyze your skin and help you to choose the right products for your skin type. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be stuck with extremely expensive skin care products, or that you’ll need to visit the dermatologist regularly. The important thing is to use products that contain the ingredients that best support your skin type.
4. Choose a winter moisturizer. Water based moisturizers work well for many people during the warmer months of the year. However, in the winter, oil based moisturizers do a better job of protecting the skin and keeping in the moisture. Be careful about the oils you use on your face. Some, like shea oil, tend to clog the pores, while others, like almond or avocado oil provide excellent moisture without any clogging of the pores.
5. Use sunscreen. Sunscreen use often falls by the wayside during the winter. However, the sun’s rays are just as damaging and drying in winter as in summer. It is even more important to use sunscreen in winter if you participate in sports like skiing. The reflections of the sun’s rays off snow create an especially damaging situation for the skin.
6. Moisturize consistently. Unfortunately, many of us don’t moisturize our skin consistently. During winter, it is especially important to use whatever moisturizer you choose on a daily basis to keep your skin hydrated. It’s much easier to keep it hydrated than to try and recover once it is thoroughly dried out.
7. Protect your skin. Keeping skin covered when you’re in the cold can also help prevent moisture loss. Your hands, in particular benefit from protection from the cold, simply because they have fewer oil glands and thinner skin. Wear gloves when it is especially cold, and moisturize your hands more frequently than other areas of the skin.
8. Get rid of dead skin. Exfoliating is an important part of keeping skin hydrated in the winter. Your dead skin cannot absorb, nor does it need, the moisture from your moisturizers. Your skin can absorb the moisturizer better when the dead skin is out of the way. Exfoliate weekly, but do so gently. Dry skin can be sensitive. Be sure you don’t scratch the surface of your good skin. Exfoliating can be done with sponges, like loofahs, or with exfoliating bath products, like scrubs. Always moisturize after exfoliating.
Cold Weather Skin Care – The Bottom Line
There’s no question that keeping your skin beautiful and hydrated during the winter takes some effort. It’s far too easy to let skin get dry and painful before we begin treating it. However, if you protect your skin consistently from the moment the temperature drops, you’ll have beautiful, soft skin all year through.