The frigid-cold months of winter can take a toll on your skin. The freezing temperatures outside can leave your skin dry and chapped, and the dry forced heat inside can strip your skin of its much-needed moisture. Both of these conditions can lead to dry, cracked, flaky and chapped skin, causing you much discomfort. If you have suffered from these symptoms in past winters, you aren’t doomed to dry skin this year. Here are 5 tips that will help protect your skin from the elements.
Regardless of whether you have dry skin, moisturizing is important to add to a winter skin regimen. To make sure you get the most out of your moisturizer, use an oil-based lotion or cream. Oil-based – as opposed to a water-based lotion – will help to create a barrier layer on your skin and trap in as much moisture as possible. Also, when moisturizing it’s best to apply a lotion right after you shower to lock in any moisture you skin has from the water. If your skin feels extra dry, you may need to apply lotion 2-3 times daily.
2. Sunscreen Isn’t Just for Summer
If you spend any time outside this winter – whether it be skiing, walking your dog or working with Bortek Industries – you should be wearing sunscreen on any exposed skin. Though it seems to be less sunny in winter, the rays can still harm your skin and, along with the cold temperatures and wind, cause your skin to become red, dry and chapped. To protect your skin as much as possible when you are outside, always wear sunscreen. Not only will it guard from the sun’s UV rays, but the moisture from the crème will keep your skin from getting as dry.
3. Change How You Wash Your Face
Many people use a daily cleansing soap on their face to prevent pimples and break-outs. However, as most facial cleansers strip the skin of its natural oils, this can cause your skin to become dry, flaky and irritated. To avoid these symptoms, try reducing the amount of time that you wash with this soap to every other day or a few times a week. If you’re battling acne and need to wash every day, swap your current cleanser for one that’s more gentle and has less salicylic acid and alcohol, as those agents dry your skin the most. Also, make sure to moisturize after washing your face; try jojoba oil, a gentle natural moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores and is the closest thing to your skin’s natural oils.
4. Don’t Take Scalding Showers
After you’ve been outside in frigid temperatures, nothing feels better than a hot shower. However, if you make your shower too hot, you could be damaging your skin. Taking showers at scalding temperatures can damage the protective outer lipid layer of your skin, and this makes it harder to lock in moisture. Instead, make your shower lukewarm to prevent skin damage and moisturize directly after you rinse.
5. Invest in a Humidifier
Whether the heat in your house is propane, electric or from a wood stove, it’s very dry. The arid hot air that keeps you warm and comfortable on the coldest days can actually be an irritant to your skin, drying it out and leaving it cracked and flaky. To prevent this, purchase a humidifier for your home. This uses water to add moisture back into the air, making your skin feel less dry.
During the winter months, it’s important to protect your skin as much as you can to prevent dryness, irritation, flaking or chapped skin. Taking preventative measures can help your skin keep its moisture, keeping you more comfortable when battling the cold.