Winter is nearly here. Though some of us are undoubtedly excited for snow, hot chocolate, and comfort food, others might be filled with dread. Winter, after all, also brings us uncomfortable dry, itchy skin. For many, the troubles are much more severe than just the tight, dry feeling; their skin flakes, cracks, and even flares up with eczema.
If these winter skin woes sound all too familiar to you, use these 10 winter skincare tips to help your skin feel healthy and moist all season long.
1. Speak to a dermatologist
It can be tough to get sound advice at your local drugstore. If your winter skin troubles aren’t easily fixed, it can be highly beneficial to speak to a dermatologist, at least once. The specialist will be able to help you determine your skin type, create an effective skincare regimen, and offer expert advice and recommendations on skincare products that your skin will respond to.
2. Change your moisturizing regimen
Water-based moisturizers are good enough for the spring and summer months, but once winter comes around, you should really opt for oil-based lotion. These lotions will add a protective layer to your skin that will retain more moisture. Non-clogging oils, such as primrose oil, almond oil, mineral oil, and avocado oil should be used on the face. To attract more moisture to your skin, look for skincare products containing glycerine, alpha-hydroxy acids,sorbitol, or hyaluronic acid.
3. Don’t forget sunscreen
It’s easy to forgo sunscreen in the winter. After all, the sun is barely around. This is a common mistake with an easy fix. The winter sun and snow glare can both wreak havoc with your skin, so make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and exposed hands. You can never have too much sunscreen in your life!
4. Wear gloves
Wearing gloves during the winter doesn’t just keep your hands warm, it also leads to a reduction in itchiness and cracking. The skin on hands is thin with very few oil glands, meaning that it’s harder to keep them moist in dry, cold weather. Wearing gloves outdoors can help keep this skin healthy.
5. Ditch the wet socks and gloves
Wet socks and gloves are common in winter. Snow and slush can get you drenched when you’re playing outside, shoveling snow, or just walking to work. But wet socks and gloves can irritate the skin and lead to cracking, itching, sores, and eczema flare-ups. Make sure to take them off immediately and have a dry pair of each handy.
6. Invest in a humidifier
Winter air is dry. And space heaters and other heating systems just blast hot, dry air throughout your house. Invest in a humidifier to create more moisture in the air and prevent your skin from getting too dry. Your skin will thank you.
7. Stay hydrated
Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health. If you’re dehydrated, it’ll show on your skin. Though fluids won’t directly turn dry skin into super-moisturized skin, it will help a bit.
8. Supercharge your footcare routine
Your coconut foot lotion might have been good enough in the summer, but your feet will need something a bit stronger in the winter. Lotions containing glycerine or petroleum jelly will help keep them moisturized. And don’t forget to exfoliant your feet often in order to help your moisturizer penetrate the skin faster and deeper.
9. Avoid harsh peels
Harsh face masks and peels, and alcohol-based astringents and toners, all strip away the vital oil from your skin. This will lead to more dryness. Instead, use a mild foaming cleanser or cleansing milk and masks that are hydrating rather than clay-based.
10. Lower the temperature on your bath
A super-hot bath can do wonders for relieving stress and pressure. It can also warm you up after freezing outdoors. But intense heat will also break down the skin’s lipid barriers, resulting in loss of moisture. Use warm water and shorter the duration of your baths—for the good of your skin.