It’s winter season again. Although it’s going to end in several weeks, that doesn’t mean you should let your skin suffer. After all, do you want dry, flaky or chapped skin and wait for it to disappear until Mr. Sun is out in full force again? Of course not, right?
However, winter season has its way of taking a toll on your skin. Blame it on the cold weather, but the drop in humidity and the use of heaters inside the home that takes away what little moisture left on your skin are also reasons why you experience irritation, dryness and roughness of the skin.
Then combine these factors with the detergents and chemicals you use to wash your clothes and there you have it – a skin screaming for rescue.
The good news is your skin can still see salvation. Before everything else gets worse, here are 10 skin care remedies during the winter season.
1. Drink Lots Of Water
For sure, you always hear about the importance of drinking at least eight glasses of water everyday. This is because water can provide natural moisture to your skin to make it smooth and supple.
Unfortunately, winter is also the time when people, including you perhaps, are drinking lesser water than usual. Well, “it’s cold, and I’m just not thirsty,” you might say.
However, winter is the time when you need lots of water. You need to keep your skin hydrated to minimize dryness and drinking lots of water can help you with that. Therefore, drink eight or more glasses of water each day.
Carry a water bottle with you every time you’re out. If you’re not a water person, then herbal tea can be your best bet. It is a great way to keep your skin moisturized, too.
In other words, don’t let your skin go thirsty.
2. Take A Bath With Lukewarm Water – But Make It Quick
Who wouldn’t love a nice, warm and long bath? After a tiring day at home or in work, a long, bubble bath is exactly what you need to keep your mind sane.
Sadly, you’re doing it wrong. Believe it or not, prolonged baths during winter are one of the recipes for dry, disastrous skin.
Therefore, keep your shower time as quick as possible. It may be tempting, but take a bath with lukewarm, not hot water since hot water tends removes the moisture from your skin and keeps it dry. Also, use gentle and moisture-rich soap during bath, and gently pat yourself to prevent your skin from getting traumatized.
Oh, and stay away from sea salt or oatmeal baths for now, since it takes up time inside the shower. You need to make it quick, remember?
3. One Word: Moisturize
Your skin is losing its moisture during this stage. Therefore, you need to bring it back to prevent your skin from drying out. What is the best way to do this?
Moisturize, of course. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema. The point is, no matter how healthy your skin looks, always, always and always moisturize.
Should you use any product in particular? Not really. As long as you choose a good, oil-based moisturizer and apply it on your body after showers, then you’re good to go. Pay extra attention to often-exposed areas such as your face, neck, arms and legs. Of course, don’t leave your lips hanging, too. A lip balm with SPF can do wonders, so don’t forget to use one.
Make sure to moisturize within three minutes after you stepped out of bath. This ensures that moisture is retained in your body. If you have time, try wrapping your arms and legs in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. You’ll surely love your baby-like skin after.
4. Wear Sunscreen
Okay, you might find this one funny. Why do you need a sunscreen when it is clearly snowing? Well sweetheart, the sun is still out there hiding in the clouds and waiting for you to come out and damage your skin.
Contrary to popular belief, sun exposure during the winter season can harm your skin, too.
The next time you go out and about, make sure to wear a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. In fact, this should be part of your daily routine, even if summer is over. The sun is always there, along with its harmful UV rays.
5. Keep Yourself Healthy
Have you noticed how many people get sick during winter? Winter is also colds and flu season, which is why you need to protect yourself as much as you can.
Once your immune system is low, your skin becomes prone to bacterial and viral attacks that can lead to unwanted skin conditions.
If it helps, consume lots of fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are rich in vitamin C. Supplements and flu vaccines can also be good defenses during the cold weather months. And if you feel you are about to get sick, protect yourself immediately. Don’t wait for your condition to get worse.
6. Choose Your Skincare Products Wisely
Assuming you are following the tips mentioned, you still may notice that your skin is dry and flaky. What do you think is causing this, aside from the cold weather, of course?
Hmm, maybe it’s your skincare products. Take a look at your kit and check the ingredients of your facial products.
Toners and astringents that are alcohol-based can be too harsh for your skin. Clay-based masks can also draw moisture out of your face. At the same time, they can strip off your skin’s natural oils, leaving it dry, rough and flaky. If that’s the case, toss these products and replace them with a non-alcohol based toners or mild foaming cleansers.
If you can stick to natural fruits and make your own facemask, then even better. Plus, you can be sure there are no harmful chemicals in it.
7. Watch What You Eat
This is a cardinal rule to keep your health in check during the winter season. After all, a weak body equates to dry and damaged skin, too. In line with this, it is equally important to watch what you eat.
Aside from drinking up to eight or more glasses of water, don’t forget to include healthy food products such as milk, raw honey, natural fruit juices and wheat germ in your daily diet.
Fruits and veggies, particularly the citrus ones are a must during the winter season. Not only do they keep you healthy, it makes sure that your weight doesn’t go up, too.
Of course, stay away from junk, processed and sugary foods as much as you can. It’s like giving bacteria an opportunity to enter your body and ruin both your skin and your overall health.
8. Go For Comfort Over Fashion
One good thing about the winter is that it allows you to dress up and wear clothes you can’t wear during summer. So yes, this means taking out your boots and collection of coats and scarves to keep you warm in the cold weather.
However, your skin is prone to irritation, so make sure to choose clothes that are not only fashionable, but also comfortable. Go for soft, breathable fabrics made of cotton, especially when you experience skin flare-ups.
Avoid woolen or polyester fabrics, since they aggravate any dryness or itchiness in your skin. At the same, you get more irritation when you perspire.
It might also help to change the moisture and air around you. Humidifiers are your best friend during the season, so make sure to keep the humidity levels at 30 percent to 50 percent to keep you comfortable.
9. Learn To Say Goodbye To Stress
Fact: stress in inevitable. No matter how much you want to get rid of it, running away is something difficult to do. The good news is there are ways you can manage it. Otherwise, it can show in your skin, and you won’t like what you’ll see.
Based on a 2001 report in Archives of Dermatology, researchers found out that when your body is under stress, your skin’s ability to retain water goes down. That’s not all. Emotional stress associated with the holidays can even trigger eczema or psoriasis.
Therefore, relax. All you need is to look for ways to help you divert your attention from stress – and it can be as simple as yoga, meditation or reading a good book.
10. Don’t Neglect Your Hands And Feet
These two might be the most overworked parts of your body. Therefore, give them a treat once in a while. The skin in your hands is thin compared to other portions of your body.
Therefore, keep your hands moist by wearing cotton gloves to avoid cracking and dryness. Also, always wear mittens or gloves when you go outside.
Pay extra attention to your feet. Use petroleum jelly or lotions with glycerine to give your footsies a royal treatment they deserve. Don’t forget to exfoliate since there are surely tons of dead skin cells in there. Keep them moisturized to prevent cracking, which can be really painful.
Winter season is not an excuse to neglect your skin. Just follow these simple tips and you can surely save your skin from damage. If your skin doesn’t respond to these tips and gets worse, consult your doctor for alternative treatments.