For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling. Their skin gets so dry it results in flaking, cracking and even eczema.
Falling temperatures, indoor heating and lower air humidity can all affect our skin, impairing its barrier function and leaving it vulnerable to dehydration and sensitivity. Add to that the onset of a wintry pallor and you’ve got the recipe for a dull, dry complexion that lasts until spring.
So to reduce chapping, itching, redness and to keep your skin more healthy and comfortable this season try these tips.
Wash in lukewarm water
Sure, soaking in a burning- hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. A lukewarm bath can help relive skin that is so dry it has become itchy.
Double up on moisture
Oily skin? Lucky you. You might get away with wearing a lick of fresh moisturizing gel in winter. But for the rest of us, it’s worth trading in ur moisturizing lotions, gels and sorbets for something with a creamier consistency. If your skin is dry, look for creams with barrier-repairing ceramides and fatty acids which are good at preventing water loss. Hydration is key for optimizing skin plumpness and glow, so it’s worth layering your day cream over a quenching serum if you don’t already do so.
Carefully choose your moisturizer
Some over-the-counter moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months. Be sure to choose a smart formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter.
Slather on the sunscreen
No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. The winter sun combined with the snow glare can damage your skin. Try applying a broad spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.
Dry skin isn’t as efficient at shedding its dead cells, so it’s worth investing in an exfoliator to keep dullness at bay and tackle uneven pigmentation during the winter months. It doesn’t matter what texture it is just go gently with it as to much scrubbing or peeling can over stimulate oily skin and leave dry skin feeling even drier. Follow with a layer of serum or moisturizer.
Hydrate from the inside out
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try apples, oranges, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider an omega_3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
Hook up the humidifier
Central heating systems blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home and they will help disperse the moisture more evenly.
Use DIY masks
Homemade hydrating masks can provide needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste and leave it on your skin for 10-30 minutes for a lasting hydration.