Winter Skincare Guide
Posted by Kat Stein on January 22, 2019
As we power through the winter months, you may be noticing the havoc that this cold weather is wreaking on your skin. Even the things that make winter wonderful, like big, roaring fires and snowball fights can dry out your skin. Don’t let that worry you, though! There are simple changes you can make to your routine that will help combat dry, irritated skin and keep it soft and supple throughout the winter.
During cold months, our skin tends to become dry, flakey, and irritated. It’s our natural instinct to reach for the heaviest moisturizer and slather it on, but it may be more beneficial to first take a look at your product choices and how you use them.
If you tend to have dryer skin throughout the year, you may already be using a heavier moisturizer, and if your skin is more on the oily side, you probably use something lighter. You may be feeling like your go-to isn’t really doing much for you, and that could be caused by the way you are using your products.
During warmer months, it’s easy to fall into being more lax about when and how you use your moisturizers. But, have you ever noticed that when it’s cold outside, your hands feel dry and cracked after washing dishes? In the winter, you want to make sure that you are applying your moisturizer almost immediately after your skin is wet – this applies to your face, hands, AND body. Letting your skin air dry for a while after showering or washing your hands gives the water a chance to dry your skin out more than it already was, and your skin becomes less receptive to products, which means the longer you wait, the less effective your moisturizer will be. Try keeping your moisturizers in the bathroom so it’s easy to remember to apply them right after you step out of the shower. Gently pat your skin dry (not completely dry, keep it a little damp) and apply your moisturizers right away – this gives the skin a chance to really benefit from the hydrating ingredients. If you notice your hands are dry, try keeping hand lotion (our Rough Skin Cream is awesome!) in your purse, one in your car, and one in the room(s) in your house that you spend the most time in. Make it easy for yourself to moisturize!
Some people find that having a humidifier in their home really helps prevent dry skin. Air tends to be on the dry side throughout the winter, so running a humidifier in the rooms you hang out in will help keep your skin from suffering. If you have to choose only one room for a humidifier, definitely keep one on in your bedroom while you sleep and you will wake up with soft, glowing skin!
Long, hot showers are one of the best things in the world at the end of a cold winter day, but they are one of the worst things for your skin. Though it seems counterintuitive, water is not hydrating when it’s on your skin – in fact, it strips your skin’s natural oils, making it dehydrating! So, it’s not the best idea to take a lot of those long, get-lost-in-my-thoughts showers during any time of the year. Excessively hot water also dehydrates the skin. If you notice that your skin is red during/after a shower or after you wash your hands, that is because your skin’s capillaries are dilated to try to cool the skin, and that means the water was too hot. We know standing in a warm, steamy shower feels so nice, but is it worth hurting your skin?
During the winter, it’s important to remember to eat foods that are high in omega-3s. This includes pretty much all fish, chia seeds, brussels sprouts, hemp seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds. If none of these foods are appealing to you, try taking a fish-oil capsule or some other omega-3 supplement. Try to avoid coffee and alcohol as these both dehydrate the body, but on days when you do indulge, make sure to up your water intake to compensate!
It can seem impossible to get warm in the winter, so it’s easy to go home, crank up the heat, and sit in your hot, cozy bedroom. But, central heating systems tend to completely dry out the air in your house, which in turn dries out your skin. Try keeping your house temperature somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees – your skin will thank you!
Though it seems silly to wear sunscreen in the winter, it is sometimes more necessary than ever! The sun obviously never goes away completely (at least where most of us live) so why stop protecting your skin just because it isn’t hot outside? Sunlight can affect our skin year round; when there’s snow on the ground, 80 percent of that light is reflected back at us. So try not to leave the house without protecting the skin that’s exposed, better to be safe than sorry!
Many cold weather fabrics can be extremely irritating to the skin, especially when it’s already irritated from the weather. It’s easy to just pull on a sweater, but to avoid your skin from being roughed up, try wearing a cotton (or another gentle, breathable fabric) shirt underneath your wool sweaters. And don’t forget to protect your hands with mittens or gloves!