Winter Skin Care

There are so many things to love about winter. It transforms the surroundings into a white wonderland. The cool weather makes hot chocolate and warm, baked bread taste even more delicious. You can finally go sledding or skating, build a snowman, make snow angels, and basically act like a kid again and no one will think badly of you for it.

But of course, winter has its downsides. As appealing as it is to play outdoors to your heart’s content, you need to limit your time spent outside. For one thing, the cold temperature and low humidity in the air will make your skin feel tight and dry. Longer exposure can result to flaked and cracked skin. In worst case scenarios, you can get eczema or even frostbite.

So, what should you do to avoid these skin problems during winter? Check out our tips below.

  1. Moisturize using oil-based lotions. Water-based moisturizers are great for summer, but not for winter. Oil will lock up the moisture in your skin and reduces that uncomfortable, tight sensation when you are exposed to frigid air. Don’t use moisturizers with shea butter, though, because it tends to clog your pores. Choose avocado, almond or primrose oils instead. If you want a cheaper and more available option, try petroleum jelly. It’s an awesome remedy for chapped lips, sore eyelids and dry cheeks.

  1. You also need to exfoliate. Do it gently, though, otherwise your skin could get irritated—and it will be painful. For your face, use cleansers with salicylic acid to gently remove impurities and dead skin cells.

  1. Use lukewarm water for bathing, especially for washing your face. Surely, your instinct during winter is to heat the water as much as you can tolerate. Unfortunately, hot water will also strip off the skin’s natural oil and moisture. Your relief will only be short-lived. After your bath, your skin will still feel tight and dry. Besides, the moment you step off the tub or shower, your body will be back to cold air. That’s not good for your skin either. So wash and bathe with lukewarm water, then put on moisturizer immediately afterwards.

  1. Apply sunscreen, especially on your face. It is possible to get sunburned in winter because of snow glare. Sunlight is refracted and amplified by the snow in the surroundings. Since the skin around your eyes, nose and cheeks are the most likely to be exposed, add an extra layer of sunscreen in this area.

  1. Wear dry, warm clothing. Make sure you put on gloves, socks, and scarves to protect your face from the cold. Don’t sacrifice functionality for fashion when it comes to winter clothes. Choose warm material like wool and padded thermal fabrics. If you are sensitive to wool, or if you notice some itching and redness due to contact to your coat lining, put on some thin cotton underclothes first.

    Also, take care not to wet your gloves and shoes. Moisture will amplify the cold, not to mention promote skin irritation and redness. The skin in your hands is more susceptible to cold, too. You might end up with sores if your gloves get wet while you’re out in the snow for hours.

  1. Don’t use soap, especially the brands that lather thickly.Repeatedly washing with soap and water will leave your skin parched and sensitive, particularly your hands. Use alcohol-free and soap-free sanitizing gels or wipes instead. If you can alcohol-free products with moisturizer, that would be even better. Wash away dirt with lukewarm water, but save the soap for when you are truly dirty (ex: mud had seeped into your shoes).

  1. Install a humidifier at home. A simple heating system will only bring relief from the cold. It won’t, however, solve your problem with lack of moisture in the air. A humidifier should offer relief for your skin, and even on your breathing. Leaving it on as you sleep will make a huge difference to your skin.

  1. Don’t use detergents with fragrances and other strong chemicals. Some people become more susceptible to chemicals found in laundry agents during winter, probably because the drop in temperature increases their skin’s sensitivity. To be on the safe side, look for mild detergents that are formulated for babies and people with sensitive skin.

  1. Diet

    Diet

    Maintain a healthful diet. The human body becomes more vulnerable during winter when the temperature is lower than normal and the immune system has to work doubly hard to fight chronic illnesses common during the cold season (ex: colds, cough, pneumonia). When you are healthy and free from illnesses, it shows on your skin. You’ll have a clear and rosy complexion, not the frostbite-red that results from biting cold.

  1. Stay hydrated. It would be great if you can get hold of tropical fruits and water-rich vegetables like kiwi, oranges, watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes, etc… Drink lots of water, too. Warm it up a bit if you feel the need to warm your tummy. Don’t indulge with alcohol. For every cup of coffee you drink, make sure to drink a cup of water, too. Remember that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, so you need to make up for the water your body loses.

  1. Stop your acne treatments. Acne-treating products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are normally effective yet gentle on skin. Perhaps due to the drop in temperature, these products tend to be harsh on the skin during winter. Instead of having their acne cleared, some people experienced flakiness and had even drier skin.

Follow these tips and you will sail through winter with glowing, healthy skin.

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