Top 10 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin
Changing seasons can be taxing for your skin and how—it’s hot during the day, cold at night and the dryness that comes with the end of the year is hardly appreciated by anyone.
When winter truly hits and you find yourself taking hot showers and slathering on any moisturiser you can find in hopes of soothing your skin—turns out, you might be doing more harm than good.
Winter skincare doesn’t have to be a puzzle that takes rounds of trial and error to solve when you’ve got the best dermatologists at hand.Here are some other tips to keep in mind when it comes to effective winter skincare, so that you can feel your best all winter long.
1Invest in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom.
2Lower the Thermostat to Avoid Dryness
When it’s chilly outside, what’s the first thing you want to do? Crank up the heat! But central heat can make the air in your house even drier. Try setting the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable setting — 68°F to 72°F — to maintain healthy skin.
3Limit Shower Time and Temperature
It may be tempting to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin will be much better-served with a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower (or bath), as the AAD suggests. You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands — if the water causes your skin to turn red, it’s too hot. Washing your hands in cooler water appears to be as effective at removing germs as warm water and is less irritating to skin and if you’re using a restroom air hand-dryer, use it just until your hands are damp rather than perfectly dry.
4Opt for Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The wrong soap can worsen itchy, dry skin. For instance, regular bar soaps may contain irritating ingredients and fragrances. Instead, wash with a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel (And do look for products specifically labeled “fragrance-free,” because “unscented” products may actually contain fragrances.) You can also prevent winter skin problems by using less soap overall, so limit your lathering to necessary areas, such as your hands, armpits, genitals, and feet.
5Modify Your Facial Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
During the winter months, choose cream-based cleansers, and apply toners and astringents sparingly, if at all. Many astringents contain alcohol, which can further dry your skin. When your skin is dry and itchy, it is recommended to stop using products that contain alcohol and fragrances in order to help skin retain its natural oils. At night, use a richer moisturizer on your face.
And don’t forget your lips. Applying a moisturizing balm (such as petroleum jelly or another ointment) can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from getting chapped. If, however, your lip product causes a stinging or tingling sensation, try switching to a different product.
6Moisturize Frequently, Especially Your Hands
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. It’s best to use a cream or ointment in the winter. Lotions are better in warmer, humid climates. And don’t forget your hands. Hand-washing,is vital, especially during cold and flu season. But, constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating.
Applying a hand cream after each washing can help. It is also recommended to wear waterproof gloves when washing dishes or cleaning around the house.
7Apply Sunscreen — Even on Gray Winter Days
On bright winter days, snow reflects the sun’s rays — up to 80 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation — increasing your risk of exposure, that means whether you’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s just as important to be applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer.
And don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter, either. The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage. Before you go outside, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body.
8Wear Appropriate, Comfortable, Nonirritating Clothing
Many cold-weather fabrics can aggravate dry winter skin. Keep wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin. “This can cause dry skin to get irritated and itchy.”
Instead, wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials directly against your skin, and then pull on your heavier, warmer sweaters. Be sure to protect your hands from cold winter air with gloves or mittens, remembering to choose a pair that won’t irritate your skin. If you prefer wool gloves, put on cotton or silk glove liners first.
9Remember to Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. For the most part, however, it is important to help the skin moisturize from the outside.
10Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly to Avoid Itchy Skin
Wearing wet clothes and shoes can further irritate your skin and cause itchiness. If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.
If you still experience dryness, discomfort, and irritation after trying these healthy skin tips, It is suggested using an over-the-counter, 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. If you don’t see improvement in a few days, talk with your doctor. You may need a prescription-strength moisturizer to overcome winter’s drying effects on your skin.