Winter weather is not fun for skin. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin every second of every day. Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to cracking and bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse.
Additional moisture helps, but you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try following tips:
Wash in Lukewarm Water
Hot showers and baths always feel good in the winter, but when you can, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.
Cream moisturizers are best for normal to dry skin, and people with sensitive skin should use a moisturizer that is perfume- and lanolin-free.
Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect skin from cold winds, rain, and snow. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen because winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun.
Heating systems dry out the air, so consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing.
Avoid Allergens and Irritants
Particularly if you have eczema and dermatitis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics (like wool) and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.
Hydrate with Proper Diet
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like 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 to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
Scented, deodorant, and anti-bacterial soaps can be harsh, stripping skin of essential oils. That’s why many skin care experts suggest using non-scented, mild cleansers or soap-free products.
Homemade hydrating masks can provide needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive oil, almond oil, and bananas. Mix what you like together to create a cream, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration.