The winter months bring frigid temps, dry winds, and dry indoor heat that leaves skin feeling like leather. These cold months present a challenge to keep skin feeling soft and supple. Old man winter shows no mercy when it comes to our skin. Consider these simple winter skin tips suggested by the American Academy of Dermatology to add a little moisture to your life.
Warm is the new hot!
With colder temps outside, a hot bath or shower sounds pretty tempting, right? Curb your enthusiasm and turn down the water temperature to warm, and limit your shower to 10 minutes; your skin will thank you (for this reason, this is one of our favorite winter skin tips!). Use a gentle fragrance-free cleanser and apply just enough to remove dirt and oil; avoid a thick lather. Blot your skin dry with a towel and generously apply your favorite moisturizer. To trap this much needed moisture, apply lotions or creams within a few minutes after a shower, or after washing face or hands. If your skin is dry, stop using deodorant soaps or products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid. Lastly, don’t forget your feet. Smooth away calluses and dry skin with a hydrating scrub or pumice stone. After your warm shower, while feet are still damp, apply a thick buttery moisturizer and put on a pair of socks. Wake up in the morning with soft toes and heels.
Winter wardrobe necessities
Lip balm is an essential part of the winter pro-skin line-up. It feels good on dry irritated lips and can help prevent future chapping. Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips; if your lips sting or tingle after you apply, switch to another balm. Apply lip balm after eating, drinking, or as needed to keep lips feeling soft.
Gloves are your hands best friends. Our hands get a lot of abuse during winter. They dry out easily from simple tasks like washing our hands or being outside in cold temperatures. To prevent drying, wear gloves anywhere you may encounter harsh conditions, including the kitchen sink. When washing your hands, use alcohol free and fragrance-free soaps and cleansers.
Sleepwear and sheets can impact skin in the cold months. Fabric like cotton and flannel are good for sensitive skin types. Avoid cotton blends and synthetic fiber for nightwear or sheets, it may be irritating to dry skin. Even your laundry detergent can make a huge impact on your skin. Use detergents labeled hypoallergenic to ensure a comfortable garment. Wear cotton or silk under your winter wool items to avoid itchy irritation.
Getting cozy by the fire…not so fast.
Sitting in front of an open fire or a heat source can dry your skin out fast! It feels good after a long day outside, but the heat source will pull the moisture right out of your skin. Back up and enjoy the fire from a safe and comfortable distance. With all the heat inside, its likely to pull the moisture from the air too. Add moisture to the air by using a humidifier. Check your home heating system – you may already have one. If not, purchase a stand-alone unit that simply plugs into the wall. Moisture in a dry indoor climate will benefit your skin, sinuses, voice and less static in the air and your hair.
If you have more winter skin tips, please share them in the comments below! If you experience moderate or excessive dry skin, take advantage of a free skin consultation with Vivia Center to see what treatment options are available to make you look and feel your very best.