HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN IN WINTER?
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 of the face, hands, and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling: They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed). Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to cracking and bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse. Indoor heat further robs the air of moisture, as do hot showers or baths and harsh cleansers.
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 these tips.
TRY THESE 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.
- MOISTURIZE IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDSYour skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower stall, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash.
- SEEK A SPECIALIST
If you go to your local drugstore, you’ll be hard put to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment. Such a specialist can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using. You can visit a specialist in Wellness Centre 4 You.
- GIVE YOUR HANDS A HAND
The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
- AVOID WET GLOVES AND SOCKS
Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.
- CHOOSE MOISTURIZER CAREFULLY
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.
We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.
- OVERNIGHT MOISTURIZE
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturizing balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter, particularly on our hands. Yet moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months.
- AVOID TOXINS, SPECIFICALLY ALLERGENS AND IRRITANTS
Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, 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. In addition, glutathione is considered the “master anti-oxidant” and helps your body detox.
- HYDRATE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
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 consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
- HYDRATE FOR YOUR HEALTH, NOT FOR YOUR SKIN
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Drinking water helps your skin stay young looking. In fact, it’s a myth. Water is good for your overall health and the skin of someone who is severely dehydrated will benefit from fluids.
- GREASE UP YOUR FEET
Yes, those minty foot lotions are lovely in the hot summer months, but during the winter, your feet need stronger stuff. Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically; that helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper.
- PACE THE PEELS
If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are “deeply hydrating,” rather than clay-based, which tends to draw moisture out of the face. And use them a little less often.
Winter is here!
If you live in a cold climate, you don’t need me to remind you how much the winter weather can damage your skin. It’s time to take action against the cold and provide protection for your skin during winters hurrah. In conclusion – taking care of your skin should be priority number one for men and women. Having healthy and supple skin will make you look better no matter what you wear.