Being warm and cozy is a necessity for most to make it through the winter season, but heating the indoors causes the air to become dry and the moisture in the skin to evaporate. To make matters worse, the humidity in the outdoor cold air is lower than in summer, meaning the skin loses moisture into the environment, causing dry, scaly, cracked skin.
Dry skin can bleed, leading to additional health risks. That is why it is imperative that extra precaution is taken in the winter to keep one's skin supple, hydrated, glowing, and healthy.
Be Generous With Skin Moisturizer
Moisturizers make the skin supple while trapping additional, long-lasting moisture. In addition to applying often to hands, use moisturizer on the more vulnerable parts of the body; the arms, elbows, legs, knees, and feet, especially the heels. It is easier to use preventative methods such as this and keep your skin in good condition than it is to nurse painful cuts and cracks after they form. Some moisturizers contain healing ingredients, such as aloe or coconut oil. Because hot water will dry out the skin, keep a bottle of moisturizing cream near the kitchen sink and tub and apply a generous amount while the skin is still damp. Alternatively, apply cream before submersing the skin in water to help trap in necessary moisture, then reapply again afterward for more serious cases.
Keep Lotion Handy Wherever You Go
Soft skin is healthy skin, and considering workplaces are typically a dryer environment than at home, a bottle of hand cream should be available at all times in the desk drawer and restrooms. At home, keep a bottom of lotion near every tub, shower, and sink. Because the heater in a car blasts hot air on hands while they are on the steering wheel, place a thin layer of cream to the hands before leaving for your destination. Encourage the passengers in the car to use hand lotion also by having a bottle in an obvious place, such as the cup holder or center console.
Humidifiers are Great for Combating Dry Skin Problems in Winter
When the heat is on high, the air can become very dry, sucking moisture from wherever it can be found - including delicate skin. Consider using a humidifier to combat skin problems caused by low humidity in the winter months. The ideal humidity level in the home is thirty to fifty percent, so using a hygrometer (which measures humidity levels in the air) is an excellent tool that can be purchased at the hardware store or online.
Flaky, itchy skin is very uncomfortable and dry air can produce a sore throat. Dry nasal passages are not as effective at catching pathogens in the air as moist passages do, often leading to sickness. Keeping moisture in the air will help to prevent these unhealthy conditions throughout the winter.
Protect Your Skin Against Freezing Temperatures with the Correct Clothing
Below freezing temperatures are very hard on the delicate skin membrane that covers the body, so having a quality pair of gloves is essential. Gloves with two layers will give hands the extra protection in cold climates. Avoid touching cold metal with bare hands. Purchase a scarf that will protect the neck and a stocking cap that will protect the skin on the ears. Winter sun reflecting off of fallen snow can be more damaging to the skin than one might anticipate. When going outside in the snow for any length of time, use a safe, effective sunscreen lotion on the face, neck, and ears. An organic lip balm will protect the lips from drying out and cracking. Sunglasses are necessary year-round to protect the eyes and the skin around them.
Hot Water Temperatures Are Not Good For Skin
Hot water removes natural oils found in the upper layers of the skin. Therefore, washing dishes or showering in hot water is likely to dry out the skin severely. Instead of showering in hot temperatures, dial it down to warm in order to protect delicate skin from becoming dried out and damaged in the winter. Moisturize immediately after bathing and choose skincare products carefully. Avoid alcohol-based lotions or wipes and instead, choose a cream with natural oils. If one must wash dishes in hot water, use rubber gloves for protection and always treat the hands to a rich, moisturizing cream when done.
Keep Yourself Well Hydrated
It is easier to remember to drink plenty of fluids in the summer, as many spend more time being active due to nicer outdoor weather. However, staying hydrated in winter is equally important, regardless of activity levels. In addition to drinking plenty of water, consider planning meals with lots of liquids, such as soups. Eat juicy fruits, such as grapefruit, watermelon, and oranges. Enjoy a smoothie drink instead of a candy bar for a daytime snack. Support bodily health with supplements such as vitamin C and D, as these are particularly beneficial to the epidermis. Fish oil capsules and flaxseed will also help the skin stay supple and glowing. Vitamin B-Complex will help heal the cracks that may form on the sides of the mouth.
Not all moisturizing creams are good for dry skin. For instance, water-based creams do not replenish missing skin oils. Instead, choose an oil-based hydrating lotion as these replenish the moisture barrier and oils that the skin loses on a cold, winter day. Avoid using a makeup remover that contains alcohol and avoid gels and creams that contain artificial ingredients. For removing makeup, stick to a mild cream-based skin cleanser. Heavier moisturizers can be more effective in trapping moisture in the skin, but remember that just because a cream or lotion is heavy, does not make it suitable for every skin type.
Consider Your Cleaning Products
Since skin comes into contact with more clothing in the winter, it is essential to consider the detergent used to clean laundry. Harsh cleansers can be quite harmful to the skin, so using a gentle, hypoallergenic laundry detergent is a great way to avoid irritating dry, weathered skin. Consider sending clothing through the rinse cycle twice if there could be detergent residue after the regular wash cycle. Experiment with different dishwashing detergents, as each person is different and what leaves one's hands feeling soft and cared for may not be right for another. Household cleaning products can be very hard on the skin as many contain chemicals that are not entirely safe. Because of this, always use rubber gloves when dealing with any cleaning chemicals.
Go the Extra Mile With A Serum
Applying a skin serum is the third step of a four-part anti-aging and hydration skincare routine. It can also be used as a stand-alone application for oily skin. Serums contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, peptides, and other beneficial ingredients. This particular skin-care routine consists of four steps; cleansing, toning, serum, and lastly, sunscreen. Because serums have a lighter consistency than moisturizers, use only a few drops during this twice-daily skincare routine. Use one or two fingers to work the serum into the skin in a rotating motion, to ensure that the product is not wasted on the hands. It should be applied in the morning after cleansing and toning. A second application includes the serum and moisturizer before bed.