Many of us dread the winter because of the havoc it wreaks on our skin. If you’ve noticed your skin turning dry, dull and even itchy, it’s because winter weather has arrived! Did you know that skin loses up to 25% of its ability to hold moisture in winter months? The cold, dry air during this season steals moisture from your skin, leaving it looking dry and lifeless.
Winter weather is no fun for skin. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin every second of the day. 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.
To help maintain your best look as you go through winter this year, try these tips:
- Wash with Lukewarm Water
Hot showers and baths always feel good in the winter, but opt for lukewarm water to avoid stripping the skin. Hot showers dry your skin quickly, and if you do not moisturize it immediately, your skin can get cracks and eczema. And always apply a moisturizer right away that contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This will keep the moisture barrier intact and prevent dryness.
- Hydrate Immediately
Perhaps one of the most important and commonly overlooked steps in the dry skin game is changing to a hydrating moisturizer. Look for creams, rather than lotions, that are made with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisturize right after you wash as your skin needs to stay hydrated. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin so use liberally every time you wash. Another easy way to keep hydrated is by drinking lots of water. You need to maintain your regular water intake also during the winter season.
- Choose Moisturizer Wisely
During the winter your face is the part of your body that is most exposed to cold weather, causing it to lose moisture the most. A rich moisturizer with the appropriate balance of ingredients that add and lock moisture in the winter will help to better retain your skin’s moisture and make it feel soft. The best time to moisturize is shortly after cleansing, lightly pat your face dry using a towel and then apply moisturizer liberally to your skin. Do this in circular motion to encourage blood flow.
- Protect Your Skin
You need to protect your skin from the cold wind, snow or rain if you are stepping out in winter. So, wear gloves and caps and do not forget your sunscreen. Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime; so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas.
Heating systems dry out the air, so you can also install a humidifier to manage the moisture level in your home. A cool air humidifier increases the moisture level in the air, helping skin’s barrier stay hydrated. In addition, be sure the heat is kept on low or at a moderate temperature to avoid extra dryness in the air. This will certainly keep your skin happy.
Exfoliation is a first crucial step to quenching thirsty dry skin as dry skin buildup on the surface of skin can prevent moisturizers from penetrating. By exfoliating away the dead skin on the surface, it allows your moisturizer to absorb better.
- Hydrate From the Inside Out
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Don’t overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, and coffee, as they are diuretics that will cause dehydration. Remember: drink tons of water.
- Drop the Harsh Cleansers
As weather conditions change, so, too, should our skin care routine. Cleansers can be extremely drying to the skin. Be sure to toss any face washes with drying ingredients, like fragrances or additives, in favor of those with formulated chamomile or oatmeal. A really gentle cleanser, is a great option that won’t strip skin of its natural oils, which are needed to protect overall moisture.
- Get the Most out of Your Nighttime Routine
Stick to a routine that will ensure healthy skin come morning. After your face serum and moisturizer, apply a gentle eye cream to the under eyes and lids. You can have a basic and simple skin care routine to keep your skin happy during winter.
- DIY Masks/Sheet 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.
Hydrating sheet masks are mainly composed of antioxidants, hyaluronic acids, and Vitamin E so use ultra-effective sheet masks that will banish your winter skin issues for good. I also love sheet masks that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe, chamomile and lavender that will surely soothe irritated skin.