21 Correct Ways to Approach Winter Skin Care All Season
“Every season,” says Pierce Brosnan “has its own character and charm,” but, what about winter, Pierce? There is nothing charming about what winter does to your skin. Winter makes your skin dry, sensitive, itchy, cracked and flaky. If winter does have a character, it’s certainly not a favorable one.
What if you could make all those problems vanish? The good news is proper winter skin care can make your skin’s winter woes melt. Continue reading to learn more about proper winter skin care.
1. Hydrate Your Skin Proactively
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is also the most exposed organ. Although two-third of your skin is water, you skin constantly loses moisture because of its size and exposure.
Restoring the lost moisture is a major part of your winter skincare routine. Preventing moisture loss plays an important role too. To keep your skin hydrated at all times, you can use three strategies: apply topical moisturizer, increase fluid intake and utilize moisture retention techniques.
This article covers all three strategies in detail in the subsequent parts. Make sure you read and internalize all of these strategies to save your skin from winter’s abuse.
2. Use Sunscreen Even in Wintertime
Sunscreen products are not just for spring skin care or summer skin care. Next to keeping your skin hydrated, using sunscreens is perhaps the most critical step in skin care.
It’s true that the sun’s rays are less intense in the wintertime. The sun’s rays, however, still carry ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation accelerates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you want your skin to look its best, use sunscreens, even in winters.
The strength of your sunscreen, measured in SPF, depends on you complexion and the amount of time you spend outdoors. To be on the safe side, continue using your summer sunscreen, because the sun’s rays bounce off the white snow and ice, and they can penetrate cloud cover, too.
3. Switch From Cleansing Liquids to Creams
Cleansing is an essential part of skin care. You must cleanse your face before you go to sleep. This removes dirt, grease and make-up from your skin. You must also cleanse your face just after you wake up. This increases the benefits of using other skin care products, such as exfoliators, toners and moisturizers.
You can use either creams or lotions to cleanse your skin. Using creams, however, offers an added advantage. Liquid cleansers may wash essential oils on your skin. As a result, your skin becomes dry. Cleansing creams, however, clean your skin without eliminating essential oils. Thus, your skin won’t feel dry after washing.
4. Avoid Aggressive Skin Exfoliation
The top layer of your skin consists of dead skin cells. The layer of live skin lies beneath the layer of dead skin cells. Your body has a natural mechanism to shed the dead layer, but you can give your body some help by using exfoliators.
Exfoliators weaken the bonds holding the dead skin layer together. This makes it easier for you to slough the layer. Exfoliators also contain mild abrasives. The abrasives work like microscopic sanding machines. They help brush off the dead skin layer.
When done properly, exfoliation reveals the live skin. This improves the look and feel of your skin. When done aggressively, exfoliation damages the live layer. This makes your skin dry, sensitive and itchy.
5. Complement Your Favorite Face Cream with a Sunblock Product
After you cleanse and exfoliate your skin, you must tone your skin and moisturize it. Toning reduces the size of your skin’s pores. This reduces appearance of dark spots on your skin by preventing impurities from collecting in the pores. Moisturizing increases moisture retention within your skin cells.
A face cream helps you tone and moisturize your skin. But, your skin needs protection from the UV rays. To add this layer of security, top your moisturized skin with a sunblock product.
6. Treat Your Face to a Homemade Hydrating Mask
A hydrating mask provides amazing winter skin care for face. What you’ll find even more interesting is how easy it is to make one. To make a hydrating mask, all you need are some common household ingredients.
Here’s a simple recipe for a homemade hydrating mask. You’ll need honey and rose water. For one part honey, use two parts of rose water. Mix the ingredients together. Spread the mixture on your face. Let the mask sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, rinse the mask with water. If you don’t have rosewater, you can use just honey.
Honey restores your skin’s moisture, keeping the skin smooth and soft. You can use the hydrating mask once a day, preferably before you go to sleep.
7. Stop Over Washing Your Hands and Face
The main reason you wash your hands is to remove dirt. Some people, however, wash their hands when it becomes dry. They think this would restore the moisture in the skin. But, their efforts are counterproductive. Washing the hands frequently makes your hands drier. It goes for your face also.
The middle layer of your skin contain millions of sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily secretion that lubricates your skin. Over washing can remove the sebum layer from your skin. This makes your skin prone to dryness. Although washing is a part of your winter skin care routine, avoid over washing.
8. Protect Your Hands and Feet from Dryness
After your face, your hands are the most exposed parts of your body. More exposure means more moisture loss. So, you must take extra care to preserve the moisture in your hands. The best way to do this is to use gloves. Similarly, use socks to protect your feet from moisture loss.
If your work prevents you from wearing gloves, carry a hand moisturizer with you. Remind yourself to test your skin for dryness. You can do this by lightly scraping your skin with a sharp object. If the object leaves a mark on your skin, it’s time to moisturize.
9. Mollify Your Elbows and Knees with Honey and Sugar
The skin on your joints is thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. This design helps improve mobility. But, the trade off is that thin skin dries faster. So, you must pay attention to the moisture levels in the skin covering your joints.
To do this, you can use honey and sugar. Some of the best winter skin care home remedies involve honey and sugar. Honey moisturizes and sugar exfoliates. Here’s a wonderful honey and sugar recipe you can use to take care of the skin on your joints.
To treat your knees and elbows, follow these steps:
- Put a tablespoon of honey in a small bowl.
- Add as much sugar to the honey as you can without changing honey’s consistency. The mixture should remain semi-liquid rather than a paste.
- Take a teaspoon or two and rub the paste on your elbows in a circular motion.
- Keep rubbing until you feel a tingling sensation.
- Leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mixture.
- Repeat the procedure for your knees, too.
- You can store this mixture in your refrigerator for a week or so.
10. Substitute Water-Based Moisturizers with Oil-Based Ones
Water-based moisturizers work well for people with normal skin or oily skin because their skin already has enough moisture. For those with dry skin, however, an oil-based moisturizer works better than water-based moisturizers. Another caveat is, if your skin becomes drier in winters than in summers, you may need an oil-based moisturizer. Oil-based moisturizers work by compensating for low oil production in dry skin.
When choosing an oil-based moisturizer, verify the oils that constitute the product. Some oils clog your skin’s pores more than others do. But, there are oils that don’t clog your skin’s pores at all. The skin care community calls these oils non-comedogenic. A few non-comedogenic oils are argan oil, hemp seed oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil. Almond oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil, are some secondary substitutes.
11. Take Your Dermatologist’s Advice on Skincare Products
There are many winter skin care products in the market. Broadly, these products cater to four different types of skin, namely dry, normal, oily, and combination. Before you begin using any product, you must know what your skin type is.
Also, skin care products come in five main forms: cleansers, exfoliators, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens. You need one product of each form for complete skin care.
Consulting a dermatologist can help you in two ways. Firstly, you can accurately identify your skin type. Secondly, you can seek advice on what product works best on your skin. Be sure to ask the dermatologist about all five forms.
12. Limit Long, Hot Showers
Long and hot showers purges your skin’s natural oils. Without the natural oils, your skin becomes dry and flaky. Thus, limiting the time you spend showing, and decreasing the temperature of the water is a sound winter dry skin care strategy.
While bathing, avoid using soaps because soaps can leach the oils on your skin. Instead, use a liquid body wash. Body wash liquids use gentle cleansers. Plus, they moisturize and clean at the same time.
Occasionally, you can take long and hot showers, but before doing so, cover yourself with a body oil. This will mitigate the destructive effects of long showers with hot water.
13. Moisturize Your Skin Well After Bathing
Just after bathing, your skin feels soft, smooth, and supple. Within an hour, though, your skin begins to feel dry. This is because the water on your skin has evaporated, and the natural oils lost while bathing haven’t been replaced.
To prevent this, you must moisturize your body after you take bath. The habit offers two advantages. Firstly, it locks the moisture in your skin. Secondly, it performs the functions of your body’s natural oils until your body replenishes the oils.
You can make your own body butter cream using shea butter. Apply the body cream while your skin is damp. This will maximize the benefits. You should definitely make this a part of your winter skin care routine.
14. Cover Your Body with Non Comedogenic Oil
Applying oil on your body offers many benefits. When your skin has enough oil on it, your skin appears soft, smooth, and lustrous. Oil also makes your skin pliable and elastic. So, covering your body with oil before you bathe, works wonders for your skin. But, there is one crucial thing you must remember: always use non-comedogenic oil.
Clogged pores lead to many skin problems, such as acne, infection, inflammation, and discoloration. To avoid these problems, you must use non-comedogenic oils. Non-comedogenic oils are oils that don’t clog your pores.
You can mix Skinception’s argan oil with shea butter to make an awesome body oil. Both argan oil and shea butter rate zero on the comedogenic scale.
15. Eat Foods That Are Abundant in Moisture
The best winter skin care methods make use of all available resources to preserve moisture. It is important, therefore, that you use your diet to fortify your fluid intake.
Foods rich in moisture, such as zucchini, celery, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, and peppers, not only boost your water intake but also provide many nutritional benefits in the form of vitamins and minerals.
Cooking can decrease the water content in these foods. So, encourage yourself to consume these ingredients raw. Alternatively, you can use cooking methods, such as steaming and microwaving, to minimize moisture loss.
16. Make Room for More Healthy Fish in Your Diet
Vitamin D is a micronutrient that helps your body assimilate the minerals calcium and phosphorus. Both minerals are necessary for strong bones and teeth. The problem is that your body needs sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. This can be an issue during winters.
To circumvent this predicament, you can source your vitamin D from fish. Fish is one of the few foods that provide vitamin D. So, put fish on your menu.
17. Promote Blood Circulation by Layering Clothing Properly
Winters require you to wear more layers of clothing. But, if you don’t layer clothing properly, your blood circulation will suffer. Your blood supply each cell in your body with the resources it requires. Blood makes its way to all the cells via a network of blood vessels.
Some of these blood vessels are extremely thin. Tight clothing constricts these narrow blood vessels. To avoid constricting the vessel, use these helpful winter layering tips.
Proper blood circulation gives a glow to your skin. It also keeps your skin cells healthy by removing wastes and supplying resources. Your skin’s renewal process will also get a boost from improved blood circulation. So, layering clothes makes your skin and you look amazing.
18. Dry Your Winter Wear Thoroughly
Surface lipids, or natural oils, keep the moisture in your skin from leaking out. Water can degrade the surface lipids. Once the lipid layer is gone, there’s nothing to keep the moisture locked in your skin. As a result, your skin becomes dry.
To keep this from happening, you must get rid of all the moisture from your clothing. In winters, this becomes relatively harder because of low temperatures and less intense sunlight. So, you must plan what you’re going to wear. Otherwise, you may be forced to wear damp clothes. This is extremely bad for your skin.
19. Take Advantage of Humidifiers
Heaters keep you warm during winters. The downside is, heaters also remove moisture from the air in the room. When the air around you is dry, it sucks moisture out of your skin. One way to counter the downside is to use a humidifier.
A humidifier is an equipment that puts back moisture into the air. They function in a manner similar to automatic air freshener dispensers. You will benefit greatly from installing a humidifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time, like your bedroom. This is especially important if you’ve got the heater turned on.
20. Select Fragrance-Free Products
Traditionally, people made perfumes and scents from natural substances. Now, majority of the ingredients that manufacturers use to make fragrances come from petroleum. Petroleum-derived ingredients may irritate your skin. Instead, you can use essential oils to scent your body. But make sure you’re not allergic to the oil.
21. Stay Away from Those Unhealthy Tanning Beds
It’s hard to get a natural tan during winters. Which is why, during the wintertime, people tend to use tanning beds to tan their skin artificially. Although this may sound like a good idea, did you know that tanning beds emit 15 times more UV rays than the sun?
High exposure to UV rays accelerates the aging process, and is also known to cause cancer. So, keep yourself safe, the price is too high to pay for a tan.
Say Goodbye to Wishy Washy Winter Skin Care
The tips here bring effective winter skin care within your reach. By following these steps, you can bid adieu to dry, itchy, sensitive, and flaky skin.
One last thing, always consult your doctors opinion before trying anything new. You might have allergies or conditions that you didn’t know about. Plus, test new products on a small part of your skin before using it on the rest of your body.
Maybe, Mr. Bond, aka Pierce Brosnan, was on to something. Maybe the winter months dohave their charm and character, but they can also wreak havoc on your skin. Skin that gets dry, then cracks and bleeds is painful and hard to heal. This can happen on your hands, fingers, feet and heels, and it is preventable by using these tips.
You can use these winter skin care tips to experience the season’s beauty, while feeling healthy and comfortable in your own skin, which may encourage you to share them with others, too. Winter can be cold and harsh, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer. Keep it healthy by trying these suggestions.