For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin of the face, hands, and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling: They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed).
As soon as you turn the heat on indoors, the skin starts to dry out. It doesn't matter if you heat your home using oil, wood, or electricity. The skin gets dry.
Sound familiar? Read on to get top 10 tips for boosting your winter skin care regimen, so that your skin stays moist and healthy through the winter months.
1. Seek a Specialist: If you go to your local chemist, you'll be hard pressed to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That's why going to an esthetician even once is a good investment. A Skin Esthetician can analyse your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using.
2. Moisturize More: You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer. But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine. You may find that a visit to your Skin Esthetician at the beginning of winter is just what you need so your skin will stay tip-top over the winter period.
3. Slather on the Sunscreen: No, sunscreen isn't just for summertime. Winter sun -- combined with snow glare -- can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they're exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.
4. Give Your Hands a Hand: The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it's harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
Any excess product you have on your hands after doing your morning and nightly routine rub it into your hands, your hands will thank you for it.
5. Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks: Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.
6. Hook Up the Humidifier: Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home; they help disperse the moisture more evenly.
7. Hydrate for Your Health, Not for Your Skin: If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Drinking water helps your skin stay young looking. In fact, it's a myth. Water is good for your overall health and the skin of someone who is severely dehydrated will benefit from fluids. But the average person's skin does not reflect the amount of water being drunk. It's a very common misconception."
8. Grease Up Your Feet: Yes, those minty foot lotions are lovely in the hot summer months, but during the winter, your feet need stronger stuff. Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. (We love a yummy cocoa butter and thick socks!) And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically; (try Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi) that helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper.
9. Pace the Caffeine: aviod caffeine. 1 cup of coffee strips the body of 5 cups of water....
10. Ban Superhot Baths: Sure, soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. You're better off with just warm water, and staying in the water a shorter amount of time.
A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy. So, too, can periodically reapplying your moisturizer. If those techniques don't work, go see a Skin Esthetician.
We are offering FREE Total Skin Consults with Renee Cox from April-August to help you have the best skin during the colder months.
Call now (09) 524 5665 or email Renee@facedoctors.co.nz
Peter is a beauty and health writer living between UK and Australia. Beside writing he worked as a beauty consultant for many fashion events around UK & Australia too.