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Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. The air is cold and dry and the wind is whipping — not a good combination. Try these tips to make sure your skin stays protected from the bitter weather and remains smooth and healthy.
1. Change up Your Face and Body Wash
You want to make sure the stuff you’re using to clean your skin isn’t going to dry it out. Blasting the heater and taking super hot showers is already going to do a number on your skin. Try using a healing, creamy body wash to help put some of the moisture back in your skin. Regular moisturizing washes are good, but the healing element gives dry or cracked skin the relief it really needs.
For your face, try something that’s soap-free and doesn’t really lather up. If a cleanser makes your skin feel really tight after you rinse it off, that’s a sign that it’s drying. Switch to something milder, with a neutral pH that can gently clean your face, while still getting all your makeup off.
2. Exfoliate — but Very Tenderly
You don’t want to be fiercely scrubbing your skin in the winter months. However, using a gentle exfoliator a couple times a week can help get rid of any extra dry skin buildup that’s been happening in the colder months. Look for something all natural and lacking in harsh chemicals that will irritate dry skin further.
3. Do a Two-Step Moisturizing Process
For your face, make sure you’re really locking in that moisture. You can cover pretty much every other part of your body when you venture outside, but your face will likely be taking the brunt of the wind and cold air. That’s why making sure it stays hydrated is extra important.
First, try a hydrating serum. They’re thin and watery or gel-based, making a good base layer for hydration. They usually contain humectant ingredients. These attract and retain water, meaning you want them right on your skin.
Next, get a moisturizing cream that’s going to lock that moisture in. These usually contain occlusive ingredients that make sure the water on your skin doesn’t evaporate. Some face creams even consist of up to 80 percent petroleum or petroleum-based products. A light layer of an oil-based cream can actually be a good thing in the winter, but you’ll want to use it last to make sure your skin keeps that moisture and it doesn’t evaporate.
4. Deeply Moisturize Overnight
Your hands, feet, elbows and knees all have a tendency to lose moisture faster than other parts of your body. Get a lotion or body butter that’s serious about hydration and repairing cracked skin. Try wearing socks and soft mittens to bed to lock the moisture in if you notice it isn’t having the full impact you wanted.
5. Get a Humidifier
A humidifier can do wonders for the skin, and a whole lot of other things over the winter. It can help prevent some of the damaging effects of dry winter air on your skin by putting some moisture back into your home. It can even make you sleep a bit better — and decent rest and less stress is also helpful for your skin!
6. Make Sure You Stay Hydrated
Hydration is crucial to your skin looking its best. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Fruits and veggies with a lot of water in them — like watermelon, kiwi, celery and tomatoes — can help hydration, too. Foods like avocado, fish and olive oil also contain essential vitamins and minerals that can ensure your skin is smooth and vibrant all year round.
7. Don’t Forget Your Lips
Your poor lips are out in the cold suffering every day, too. They also have pretty thin skin that’s easily dried and chapped. Don’t mess around when it comes to lip balm. Make sure you’re getting something that’s focused on moisturizing and helping chapped lips instead of any tints or colors. Dry lips are insanely painful, and that’s not something you want to be dealing with all winter.
8. Protect Your Skin When You’re Outdoors
Cover up whatever possible when you’re out in the bitter cold and biting wind. Always wear gloves and a scarf to cover up all the skin you can. If you’re hitting the slopes or going to be outside somewhere else for an extended period of time, make sure you put on sunscreen. Just because it’s colder doesn’t mean the sun is any less damaging.
9. Mix up a Moisturizing Facemask
Homemade face masks are great because they’re usually inexpensive and use ingredients you might already have in your fridge or pantry. They’re also all natural, which is good for use on the delicate skin of your face. Have some friends over, mix up some face masks, break out the wine and make a night of it!
10. Avoid Skin Irritants
Skin is naturally more sensitive in the winter, so you may have to avoid things that are normally fine. Try switching to a natural laundry detergent or one made for sensitive skin if your clothes are irritating your skin. Certain fabrics, like wool, could also be a trigger. If you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, these steps are especially important to avoid a potential flare-up.
You won’t regret making sure you take every precaution to protect your skin this winter. You’ll feel better throughout the cold months, and you’ll go into spring with healthier, more radiant skin.