When the weather is cold and harsh outside and the temperatures inside are toasty warm, it’s time to change up your skincare. Cold weather saps the moisture in your skin because the air is dry and it has a tendency to pull moisture from everything it touches. The dryness can contribute to a dull and lackluster appearance of your skin versus when you moisturize, you help give the skin a smooth even appearance. Let’s talk about some best practices for caring for your skin during the winter months, including hydrating and retaining the moisture in your skin.
Change Up your Winter Skin Care Routine
Winter is a great time to change up your routine. What may work for the warmers months probably is not going to work when it is cold and dry outside. One of the best things you can do, is to add a gentle cleanser to your morning and evening routine. Using a cream or oil based cleanser will help your skin barrier to be as healthy as possible so that it can retain vital moisture. In general, if your skin feels tight and itchy after washing it is likely that the cleanser you are using is too drying for your skin. After cleansing, apply a moisturizer that will nourish your skin. You may want to swap your gel based lotion that you use during the warmer months for a richer and heavier cream during the winter. As I’ve mentioned before, remember to apply your products from lightest to heaviest.
Protect Your Lips
The lip is made up of a mucus membrane which is thinner than the skin around your eyes and loses moisture easily. The result of which is dry, flaky, chapped lips especially during the winter. It is important to use a good lip balm to rehydrate and protect your lips. Make sure to use a lip balm that is going to nourish the lips and provide a physical layer between your lips and the cold air.
Keep Winter Skin Hydrated
In the winter skin could become drier and more sensitive with colder weather and central heating. Make sure you keep hydrated during the day by adding extra water or herbal teas to your daily routine. In addition, you should keep your central heating between 68-75 F. The moderate versus high heat will dry out the air less. You could also invest in a humidifier to help your skin maintain moisture levels.
Use Warm vs. Hot Water to Avoid Drying Out Winter Skin
As tempting as it may be to use hot water when it is cold outside, it is best to use lukewarm water for showering and washing your face to avoid drying out winter skin. Hot showers will dry out your skin quickly especially if you do not moisturize right away. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, you should try to limit your shower or bath time to less than fifteen minutes with warm water. What is too hot? Water that turns your skin red is too hot.
Don’t Forget Your SPF
Whatever you do, don’t stop using your SPF in the winter. You have heard it before, but it is definitely worth repeating. Your skin needs protection all year long. That means you need to wear sunscreen in the winter as you would in the summer. Just because the sky is cloudy does not mean that you cannot get sun damage. The UV rays come through on cloudy days just as much as sunny days although not as powerfully. This leads to small amounts of damage to the skin. On top of that, the damage is cumulative. This damage shows up as aging skin. This could be hyperpigmentation or loss of collagen and elastin which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. It could also possibly lead to skin cancer. Make sure you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen over the top of your moisturized skin daily to protect your skin.
Do you have any winter skin care secrets? I would love to hear about them. Please feel free to share them by leaving a comment in the comments section below. Keep following me for more tips and tricks. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on sunscreen later this spring.