Tom Allen, not the comedian, but a past member of the U.S. House of Representative from Maine once said “While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” Living through the harsh and long Maine winters must have given him a lot of character, but what did it do to his, and many other people’s winter skin?
People with a robust winter skin care routine in place will undoubtedly agree with Mr. Allen; however, those who are yet to discover a reliable winter skin care regimen, may find it hard to believe that winters can actually be good for their skin.
Fortunately, if you’re a person who must endure the sting of the winter wind, ice and snow on your face, here are some helpful tips to save your skin. Be sure to read all the way to the end, so you don’t miss a single tidbit of advice to slow the process of aging that cold temperatures can speed up.
1. Oil-Based Moisturizers to Your Skin’s Rescue
During winters, the air around you is less humid because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Since the ambient humidity level is low, the air around you draws moisture out of the epidermis, your skin’s outermost layer. Therefore, your summer skin care routine does not offer enough protection to your skin. You need to go the extra mile during winter.
For starters, if your moisturizer is a water-based, replace it with an oil-based moisturizer. It’s easy to tell the difference between the two. The first ingredient in the list for a water-based moisturizer is often water. For an oil-based moisturizer, the first ingredient in the list is usually an oil product.
Oil-based moisturizers keep your skin moisturized for longer periods because the oils stick to your skin. Water on the other hand does not bind itself to the skin. Thus, water-based moisturizers don’t offer enduring protection.
While selecting an oil-based moisturizer, choose an oil that is non-comedogenic because non-comedogenic oils do not clog your skin’s pores. This reduces the occurrence of acne breakouts. Best winter skin care moisturizers use oil products low on the comedogenic scale, such as argan oil, hemp seed oil, shea butter and sunflower oil, don’t clog the pores at all. If these options are too narrow for you, here’s a list of the next best oils:
- Castor oil
- Avocado oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
You should avoid oils like cocoa butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, palm oil and linseed oil, if you are prone to breakouts because these oils block the pores.
2. Sunscreen: Just as Important in Winter as in Summer
Sunscreen is an indispensable part of summer skin care regimens, but during winters, the temperature drop and short days tend to trick people into believing that the sun’s rays are less intense during winters. Consequently, people tend to take it easy on the sunscreen during winter.
This is a big mistake because sunlight continues to carry ultraviolet (UV) radiation irrespective of the season. Without the sunscreen to shield them from the UV rays, the harmful radiation damages the skin and accelerates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
To keep your skin from prematurely exhibiting signs of aging, such as dark spots and wrinkles, you must use a sunscreen lotion even during wintertime. Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays by reflecting the UV rays or by absorbing the UV rays before they hit your skin. So, remember to apply sunscreen on exposed areas of skin half an hour before you step outdoors.
3. Shield Your Delicate Skin with Protective Clothing
People by default cover up their bodies more in winter than they do during the warm summer. In response to the drop in temperature, they naturally wear clothes that insulate their bodies from the cold and retain the heat within; however, people don’t pay much attention to their hands and feet.
The skin on your palms and the soles of your feet is thin and delicate. It has relatively fewer pores than other areas of the skin. For this reason, the skin here becomes dry and itchy if you leave it unprotected.
Make sure you wear always gloves and socks to prevent the skin on your palms and feet from cracking as a result of dryness. Also, wool can irritate the skin and cause redness and itching. To avoid this, wear a thin gloves and socks made of soft and comfortable materials underneath your woolen wear.
While choosing your winter wear, keep utility in mind. Choose clothing that you can slip in to and out of quickly and comfortably, so that you won’t have issues while going outdoors or returning indoors.
4. Hydration: the Cornerstone of Good Winter Skin Care
In the summertime, people remember to keep themselves hydrated, because water loss in the form of sweat is apparent. In the wintertime, your body doesn’t sweat as much as it does during the summer. As a result, people forget to drink water regularly. This leads to dehydration. To avoid this problem, you must learn to recognize signs of dehydration.
Here are the signs of dehydration.
- Your mouth becomes dry and sticky.
- You feel tired and sleepy, even after sleeping for 7 to 8 hours.
- The skin over sensitive areas, such as lips and palms, become dry.
- Bouts of constipation become more frequent.
- At times, you feel dizzy and lightheaded.
- The urine volume decreases and urine appears dark yellow or orange in color.
- You may even get muscle cramps, which are signs of dehydration.
Drinking enough fluids isn’t just a summer or spring skin care tip; it’s an excellent habit that serves you well in every season. When you spot any of the above symptoms, you should consciously increase your water consumption.
Not only should your drink water in its pure form, but also eat fruits and vegetables high in water content, such as tomato, cucumber and watermelon. Avoid drinking colas and other fizzy drinks because they are mild diuretics, substances that reduce water retention.
5. Use Humidifiers to Add Much Needed Moisture to the Air
The prime directive of effective winter skincare is, “Always keep your skin moisturized.” One strategy to keep the moisture level in your skin above the red line call for winter skin care products of a different kind. We’re talking about humidifiers.
Heaters and radiators, which people use to keep indoor temperatures comfortable, unwittingly cause the moisture in the air to disappear. Thus, the air indoors becomes dry. The dry air extracts moisture from your skin, making it prone to dryness, itching, and cracking.
Remember, if you use heaters or radiators in your living or working space, install a humidifier. Humidifiers are devices that keeps your room humid by compensating for the moisture lost due to heating devices. Moreover, you’re likely to expose more of your skin indoors than you would outdoors.
This makes the use of humidifiers indoors even more important. Places where you spend a lot of time, such as bedroom or office, are good locations to install humidifiers.
6. Don’t Let Dead Cells Ruin Your Glow: Exfoliate Your Skin
Your skin consists of three layers, namely the hypodermis, dermis, and epidermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer. This layer protects your skin from minor cuts and bruises, prevents microbial infection, keeps your body waterproof, and reduces water loss.
The topmost layer of the epidermis, known as the stratum corneum, consists of dead skin cells. Your body periodically sheds the dead skin cells in the stratum corneum when a new layer of dead cells appear below the old one. During winters, this process becomes less efficient, causing layers of dead skin cells to pile up. That’s the reason why lines appear on your skin when your scratch it with a sharp object.
To keep your skin vibrant and youthful during winters, you need to give your body an extra hand by using mild exfoliates to slough the layer of dead skin cells and reveal the healthy and lively layer beneath. Next, you’ll learn a simple winter skin care routine to exfoliate your skin.
7. Simple and Natural DIY Treatment to Exfoliate Your Skin
Winter skin care for face and body requires systematic removal of layers of dead skin cells piled on your skin. If you’re looking for winter skin care home remedies to exfoliate your skin naturally, then you’ll love this DIY recipe that you can start using immediately.
Here’s what you require.
- A tablespoon of honey
- Two tablespoons of granulated sugar
- Juice from two fresh lemons
Once you have all the ingredients, follow this procedure:
- Put all the three ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Stir the ingredients with a spoon to form a uniform paste
- If the paste appears runny, add a little more sugar
- After the paste is ready, set the bowl aside
- Wash your face with lukewarm water
- Spread the honey, sugar, and lemon mixture on your palms
- Rub the paste on your face
- Use a smooth and gentle, yet firm circular motion
- After covering all areas of your face, wash it with lukewarm water
- Pat dry your face with a clean and dry towel
- Repeat the treatment once every three or four days
- If you use exfoliate your skin during mornings, wearing a sunscreen while stepping outdoors is a must
Make this treatment a part of your winter dry skin care routine today. Three to four weeks from now, you will be extremely happy that you did. Caution, use the treatment on a small portion of your skin first. If you spot any irritation, redness, dryness, or other uncomfortable signs, don’t go ahead with the treatment for the rest of your face.
8. Your Skin Pays a Heavy Price for Those Long, Hot Showers
Although a long soak in the bathtub after a day’s work is an appealing way to unwind, don’t do it too often. Long showers can wash the oils in your skin. Thus, the role the oils play in keeping your skin moisturized is undermined. Instead, reduce the frequency of long baths and limit the time.
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that hot water strips away the oil from your skin more rapidly than lukewarm water. So, remember to bathe in lukewarm water instead of steaming hot water. Also, use mild soaps or bubble bath solutions.
Check the ingredients in your soap, liquid or otherwise for ingredients, such as alpha-hydroxyl acid, honey, aloe vera gel or glycerol. These ingredients, called humectants, absorb moisture from the air and helps keep your skin smooth and supple.
9. A Clean Diet Means Clear Skin
Eating cleanly is an amazing way to keep your skin radiant. Changing your diet to exclude processed and refined foods and include natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, healthy fats, seeds, nuts and legumes helps you maintain a healthy weight. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a healthy and attractive figure in addition to clear and glowing skin? The answer is a definite yes, so here’s a list of healthy foods that do wonders for your skin too.
- Avocados: Avocado is a great source of antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and E, and healthy fats in the form of monounsaturated fats.
- Fish: Fish contain a rich supply of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats prevent photo damage and reduce inflammation. Fish also contain minerals that keep your skin smooth and supple.
- Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables: These vegetables and fruits contain a high dose of beta carotene. Beta carotene is an antioxidant and it defends your skin cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is a bountiful source of clean unsaturated fats and vitamin E. The oil helps moisturize your skin either by consumption or by topical application.
- Leafy Vegetables: Leafy vegetables contain omega-4 fatty acids, vitamins A, vitamin B, and vitamin E. All these nutrients keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are nutrient powerhouses. Just a handful of these can contribute a lion’s share of vitamins and minerals.
- Water Dense Fruits and vegetables: Fruits, such as watermelon, and vegetables, such as cucumber, that contain large quantities of water keeps your body hydrated and also satiates your hunger.
- Eggs: These wonderful sources of protein. They also contain sulphur and lutein. These compounds keep your skin elastic and hydrated.
Dieticians recommend you journal your food habits every day for two weeks. Then, review your journal to identify negative trends. You can use the above list to help you incorporate positive eating habits into your lifestyle. But, remember to do so gradually. If you try to change too much in too little time, the habit just won’t stick.
More Tips to Make Your Winter Skin Care Routine Amazing
10. Care for Your Nails and Hair
In addition to your skin, your integumentary system consists of hair and nails. It’s important that your skin care regimen also includes your hair and nails. To do this, apply argan oil on your finger tips with a cotton ball every day. You can use argan oil for your hair as well. An argan oil hair mask will dramatically improve the look and feel of your hair.
11. Use Lip Balms Generously
The skin on your lips is four times thinner than the skin in other areas. As a result, your lips lose moisture quickly. Thus, they become dry and crack. To stop this from happening, apply lip balm at frequent intervals.
12. Replace Strong Cleansers with Gentler Substitutes
Gently scratch your skin with a sharp object one hour after bathing. If the object leaves a mark on your skin, it means that your cleanser isn’t gentle enough. In that event, substitute your cleanser with a milder option.
13. Moisturize Regularly and Liberally
Contrary to popular belief, the key to keeping your skin moisturized during winters isn’t applying lots of lotion or cream. The quantity doesn’t help. Instead, apply moderate quantities frequently.
14. Get Plenty of Exercise and Rest
Your body requires adequate exercise to maintain all its functions, such as digestion, and blood circulation, at peak efficiency. And your body needs enough downtime to do necessary repairs. Thus, make sure you exercise at least 150 minutes per week and sleep a minimum of six hours.
15. A Specialist Saves You A Lot of Trouble
Cosmetic companies make over the counter winter skin care products to address a wide range of conditions. For this reason, finding products to meet all your needs is arduous. Imagine sampling products one by one. It would take ages to find the most ideal solution by trial and error. Not to mention the effort and the cost.
Visiting a skin care expert will save you all this trouble. A qualified skin specialist, firstly, studies your skin type. Then, the doctor reviews your current skin care routine and suggests improvements. Finally, he or she recommends efficient and cost effective skin care products tailored to suit your skin’s needs.
A titanic price tag doesn’t guarantee a product’s capacity to produce the results you desire. In fact, marketing and packaging costs might be the reasons for the products inflated price tag. A doctor can help you see through gimmicks and hypes, allowing you to make wise purchases.
It’s Time to Kick Start Your Winter Skin Care Routine
Using any one of the above tips will work wonders for your skin. However, miracles begin to happen when you stack positive practices. The whole is much more than the sum of the parts. Adopt these winter skin care tips with gusto and take action now. In a couple of seasons, your skin will embrace winter with open arms and so will you.