I recently heard a dermatologist state that winter should come with the weather advisory: “Rough Beauty Conditions Ahead!” Those of us living in cold climates can certainly relate to the feeling that, no matter what we do or how much moisturizer we slather on, wintertime wreaks havoc on our skin.
There are a few reasons why cold weather stresses our skin so much. First, cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Coupled with low humidity and the use of central heating (which is also drying), the result is often parched, tight, flaky skin that becomes easily irritated, itchy and uncomfortable. What’s worse is that, as we get older, our skin naturally produces less oils, so this winter dryness becomes even more pronounced. The good news (yes, there is good news!) is that with a few tweaks to our skincare regimen, we can restore the moisture to our skin and keep it radiant throughout the winter.
Here are 12 things that we can do to protect our skin during the cold season:
- Take shorter baths/showers and make sure that the water is warm, not hot.
- Post shower, pat skin almost dry and apply an oil-based cream (instead of a lotion) to better trap and lock moisture into the skin. Look for ingredients such as beeswax, squalane, petrolatum, and shea butter.
- Use a humidifier in the bedroom at night to add more moisture to the air.
- Moisturize feet and put on cotton socks before bed.
- Use hand sanitizers formulated with aloe instead of alcohol (which is drying) and moisturize hands immediately after washing.
- Switch to a milky facial cleanser and use a mild exfoliating wash (preferably one with alpha hydroxyl acids) every other day.
- Switch to facial moisturizers that are oil-based, instead of water-based. The lightweight products we used during the summertime won’t offer enough protection during colder months.
- Use a facial serum before moisturizing. The two products are most effective when used together. Think of a serum as the vehicle through which moisture is deposited into the skin. The moisturizer on top acts as the barrier which holds that moisture in.
- Continue to use sunscreen throughout the winter, as the sun continues to be drying and damaging during wintertime.
- To protect hands, wear gloves while out in the cold and moisturize the hands often (skin is thinner on the hands and harder to keep moist).
- Avoid peels, masks and alcohol based toners and astringents, as they can be too drying for the skin during this time of year.
- Be careful not to over exfoliate (with either scrubs or cleansing brushes), as the skin is more sensitive at this time and can become easily stressed and irritated.
With a little extra TLC, it’s not hard to keep your skin healthy and vibrant throughout the colder months. And remember that the very best way to get your glow on is to wear a big smile and a joyful spirit!
Have a wonderful, Wellegant week,