As much as I hate the very idea, winter is coming. Along with all the fun things like dead car batteries, slips and fall, and (for some of us) increased pain, winter can wreak havoc with your skin. But never fear! Here are 10 Ways to save your skin from winter!
Did you know winter can do more damage to your skin than summer? The cold, dry air of winter is particularly harsh on skin. And it’s not just your face you have to protect. The delicate skin on your hands and even your feet are affected by winter conditions inside and out.
I only wear make-up for special occasions. But I know that following these 10 ways to save your skin from winter I can avoid having cracked, painful skin in our harsh Michigan winters.
Here are 10 Ways to Save Your Skin from Winter and keep your glowing complexion, soft hands, and even pretty feet all winter long.
Use a “winter” moisturizer. A moisturizer that works great in summer may not be enough to take on icy winter winds. Find a product that is oil-based rather than water-based. Look for one that is labeled “ointment.” Many of these are sold as “night creams.” The oil in these moisturizers provides a protective layer that retains more moisture than a lotion or regular cream. But look carefully at the label. You want non-clogging oil like almond oil, avocado oil, primrose oil, or Shea oil. There are also the “humectants” that attract moisture to your skin. Look for ingredients like glycerin, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids.
Apply moisturizer to damp skin. You only have a three minute window to lock in moisture according to Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. And Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City advises moisturizing with the bathroom door closed. Humectant creams will pull the moisture from the humid bathroom air into your skin.
Before applying moisturizer you want to be sure your skin is free of dead cells. They keep moisturizers from sinking in. Try a mild exfoliatant with fruit enzymes or a jojoba-bead scrub. Exfoliate a couple of times a week to help your moisturizer work at its best.
Sunscreen is important in winter. The sun, combined with the glare from snow can still damage your skin. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on face and hands (if they’ll be exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. If you’re outdoors for an extended time reapply the sunscreen.
The skin on your hands is thinner than most of your body and it has fewer oil glands. This means your hands are particularly susceptible to harsh winter air. We’re all familiar with the itching and cracking that can happen when hands are unprotected. The best thing to do for your hands in winter is to wear gloves. If you have wool gloves, slip a pair of thin cotton ones on first. Wool can scrape and damage the delicate skin of your hands.
Wool and synthetic fabrics can rub against and scratch your drier winter skin. Wear cotton fabrics or at least put a thin layer of cotton fabric beneath any wool or synthetics.
It’s not just your face and hands that can be affected by the dry winter conditions. Sprays reach the areas that you can’t. Before you step out of the shower, after you turn off the water, you a spray moisturizer to protect the rest of your skin. There are also continuous-spray lotions that even spray when upside down!
Don’t forget your feet! In winter your feet need petroleum jelly or glycerin lotions. And don’t forget to exfoliate before applying these products. And be sure to avoid having wet socks (and gloves). They can irritate your skin causing itching, cracking, or even flare ups of eczema!
Don’t take super-hot baths or showers. Yes, a long soak in a hot bath in winter feels great but it’s tough on your skin. It breaks down the liquid barrier in your skin and can result in a loss of some moisture. A warm (not hot) bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve dry, itchy winter skin.
Cover up. Just like using a hat to protect your hair, you need to protect your skin. Even if you think it’s not “cold enough” for a scarf, you skin should be shielded from the air. If you’re heading out to play in the snow or even if you don’t get snow in winter, protect your face and hands. Wear gloves and cover much of the delicate skin on your face with a scarf. When you go back inside your moist, glowing skin will be worth it!
Use these 10 ways to save your skin from winter and your skin will be soft and inviting; just right for a cuddle by the fireplace!