The coldest months of the year are almost here, which means another round of winter dryness for you and your skin. No matter if you spend most of the season inside your home, central heating can still dry you out. To enjoy relief and help your skin look great, here are some tips from Dr Jason Emer to minimize skin damage and distress.
Think Twice About Your Cleanser
Double-check the ingredients of your current cleanser. The product may contain chemicals and ingredients, such as alcohol, that do more harm than good to your skin, doubling the winter damage your skin experiences. Keep moisture in your skin with cream-based cleansers, but ensure you buy one tailored to your skin type.
Drink Plenty of Water
Low humidity can leech moisture from your skin faster than you realize. Throughout the day, drink lots of water to replenish your fluids. If you like a little flavor with your beverages, sip on hot tea with lemon or ginger. Not only does drinking tea help your skin, it helps you feel cozy while you stay warm inside your home.
Buy a Humidifier
When you crank up the heater to stay warm, you dry out the air inside your home, which means drying out your skin. Replenish humidity with a high-quality humidifier in rooms you spend the most time in. Besides rejuvenating your skin, keeping a humidifier running offers several additional benefits, such as stopping the spread of airborne viruses, warming your home and relieving allergy symptoms.
Exfoliate Your Face and Body
If you don’t already, regularly exfoliate your face and body. Exfoliating gets rid of dead, dry skin cells that can make you feel itchy and uncomfortable. Another benefit of exfoliating is it encourages skin regeneration and blood circulation. If you use a sugar scrub, cloth, silicone brush or something similar to revitalize your skin, check whether it’s safe to use on your desired body part. The skin on your hands and feet can take a rougher exfoliating than the skin on your face or your lips. Try out different substances and materials to see which works best for your skin type and comfort level. One word of advice with exfoliating is not to do it too much. Aim for scrubbing your skin only once a week.
Limit Shower Temperature and Time
While a nice, hot shower may help you feel warm, water that’s too hot can dry out and harm your skin. Try to limit your showers to no more than 10 minutes in lukewarm water. Besides taking care of your skin, taking shorter showers can also help lower your utility bills. The reason lukewarm water is best on skin is that hot water can suck vital oils from your skin, worsen skin conditions and cause inflammation.
After washing and exfoliating, use a good moisturizer to treat and protect your body. Creams and ointments work best for the colder months. You may wash your hands more often than usual to stay healthy during flu season, which is great for your health but not-so-great for your hands, which can dry out after every hand washing. Buy a hand creamer to protect your hands and keep them from cracking. Further, consider wearing gloves when washing dishes or cleaning to avoid losing moisture.
Applying sunscreen may be the last thing on your mind in the winter. If you live in an area that gets a lot of condensation in the winter, the sun can reflect off snow, exposing you to harmful rays. Pretend you’re going to the beach rather than going out running errands, skiing or anything else that exposes you to direct winter sunlight. Keep your skin safe by applying sunscreen to parts of your skin regularly exposed to the sun.
Choose Winter Clothes Carefully
Before stepping out into winter temperatures, think twice about what you wear. While heavy materials like wool keep you nice and warm, they can irritate your skin. You can keep wearing wool and other heavy fabrics, but prevent them from touching your skin by wearing a lighter fabric underneath, such as cotton, linen or rayon. Another benefit of layering is you can remain comfortable without overheating or feeling unprotected from the elements.
Do Not Forget About Your Feet
No one wants cracked or dry feet, but that’s exactly what you may experience if you care for and moisturize the rest of your body but neglect your feet. Care for your feet by using Epsom salt, a pumice stone, paraffin wax or an oatmeal scrub to remove dead skin. Follow that up with petroleum jelly or a glycerin-based cream to help your feet retain moisture. Exfoliating before applying a cream or lotion helps lock in moisture.
Take time to care for your skin during the colder months. A little effort helps you endure winter with healthy, glowing skin.