While we love winter for the holiday season — cozy sweaters, and hot chocolate — we don’t love how the temperature affects our skin. It seems as if overnight our skin goes from being nourished and plump to dry and cracked. Have you realized the havoc winter could wreak on your skin?
The cold air robs the natural moisture from your skin, leaving it dry and itchy. It can even cause severe dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. That’s why you need to take care of it. In this article, we have 9 tips you can follow to keep your skin super happy during winter.
The fact of the matter is in the winter, there is naturally less moisture in the air due to the environment and abrasive conditions, like the wind. Indoor factors like central heating can also decrease the moisture level of the air. This makes it harder for the skin to maintain its natural protective oils, which act as a barrier against environmental aggressors. As a result, moisture gets pulled from the skin, leading it to become dry and cracked. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here are the skincare hacks I swear by in the winter.
Invest in a humidifier
By replenishing moisture in the air and keeping the humidity at an ideal level (about 40-60%) humidifiers help protect your skin when you’re indoors. Opt for a humidifier that has built-in technology that prevents mold and bacteria from growing and has an evaporative system, meaning that it only releases pure, hydrated air — not water vapor. Here’s an added bonus on how to clean a humidifier if you cop one that isn’t self-cleaning.
Avoid hot showers
In the winter, especially, it is tempting to crank up the heat, but hot water strips the oils from your skin and can leave it more susceptible to drying out, cracking, and flaking. Try to cool it on the water temp to preserve whatever bit of moisture you can. It is very tempting to go for hot showers when the temperature is dipping. But if you love your skin, avoid them.
Instead, use lukewarm water to shower and wash your face. Hot showers dry your skin quickly, and if you do not moisturize it immediately, your skin can develop cracks and winter eczema. Once you have taken a lukewarm shower, apply a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This will keep the moisture barrier intact and prevent dryness. After your not-too-hot shower (or face washing), apply your body oil or lotion before your skin has totally dried. This helps lock in additional moisture.
Maintain a good diet
Consume a lot of seasonal fruits and veggies. Berries are exceptional sources of vitamins and antioxidants that your skin needs to stay healthy during the cold weather. Strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, or cherries – pick anything you love. Also, if you think that you are missing out on the hydration part (limited water intake), you can cover that up with fruits, veggies, and other food items such as soups, salads, juices, and milk. In this way, your body will get the nutrients to keep the skin healthy.
Keep your lips smooth
Lips can get extremely dry in the winter, as this skin is thinner and constantly exposed to the elements. The skin on our lips has between three and five cellular layers, whereas the rest of our skin has about 16, and unlike our skin, lips don’t have oil glands to keep them moisturized. Because of this, it’s extremely important to take care of them. Try these chapsticks.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
In the winter, skin can’t retain moisture as well, and drinking water helps replenish some of that hydration. Be it inside your home or outside, the air is drier in winter. And as a result, water evaporates from your body easily. Hence, you need to keep your skin hydrated.
I know it’s hard to leave the warmth and coziness of the blanket behind and get moving on a chilly winter morning. But do it if you love your skin. Exercise will pump up your heart rate, which in turn, pumps more blood to your organs and skin. During the winter, the oil and sweat glands in your body and the blood vessels constrict a bit. This makes it hard for your skin to keep itself healthy and glowing naturally, and that’s why it needs your help.
If you need tips on how to dress for cold weather activities, we have you covered.
Be conscious of over-exfoliating
Exfoliating the skin helps in getting rid of dead cells. You have to be careful during winter because your skin barrier is already compromised due to the dry and cold weather. Exfoliating your skin once a week is fine – this helps in boosting skin regeneration and better product absorption. Also, you should exfoliate depending on your skin type. If you have very dry skin, exfoliate your skin lightly. If you have combination and oily skin, once a week is fine.
Discover your skin type here.
While you likely have a favorite moisturizer you lean toward, look at the ingredient list on the back of your products and make sure you’re using ultra-nourishing ones this time of year. Hyaluronic acid is a superstar ingredient for hydration as it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water. Ceramides and peptides strengthen and restore the skin barrier, helping skin retain moisture. Squalene, shea, and lightweight hydrating oils — like jojoba — are also great for helping skin stay hydrated.
What kept your skin happy during summers can make it sad during winters. And that’s why you need to change your skincare products accordingly. The key to healthy and glowing winter skin is using mild skincare products. Choose cleansers that contain moisturizers to avoid stripping your skin of its natural moisture barrier. If you have acne or breakouts, use products containing ceramides, hyaluronic acid, hydration serums, and glycerin to help in repairing the moisture barrier of your skin. Avoid masks and peels, astringent lotions, and any product that contains alcohol as they make your skin dry during the winter.
Avoid excess sun exposure
You need to protect your skin from the cold wind or snow or rain if you are stepping out in winter. Wear gloves and caps and do not forget your sunscreen lotion. The warm sun rays feel pleasant, but the UV rays can still damage your skin a lot. Choose a sunscreen that has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. This is especially true for those who live in places where it snows heavily. The glare from the sun and snow can harm the skin around your eyes and cause brown spots, fine lines, and other issues. So, whenever you step outside, make sure that you wear good quality UV protected sunglasses, preferably with wide arms.
These tips are not difficult to follow, and you can easily include them in your daily routine. Do you have any special winter skin care secrets? Share it with us by leaving a comment in the comments section below. And keep following us for more such tips and hacks. Till then, stay healthy and keep glowing.