Cold, dry winter air has a low moisture content that sucks the water right out of your skin. And that sucks. But staying indoors during winter doesn’t help as it means you miss out on all those fun outside activities, and expose yourself to loads of dry, warm forced air from heating systems.
So, how can you protect your skin? While the thermometer creeps down, it IS possible to stop from turning to sandpaper in all areas by next week. Definitely. Here are a few tips.
Clothing, like scarves that can cover your face and ski masks, can provide that first important layer of protection for your skin in winter. It isn’t just about keeping warm. Having something cover your face at least up to your nose will protect your cheeks and lips from bitter wind and help to keep that moisture in.
And gloves! Gloves and mittens are also great for warding off outside air. Wearing gloves or mittens consistently when outside in the colder months can protect your hands from being exposed to wind and keep them from chapping. That dreaded finger-cracking that happens in the corners by the nails can also be warded off. Make sure to lock that water in and you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
And then there are the lotions. Every good winter game plan needs cream. Wearing the right protective clothing is the first step, and adding some preventive cream to your skin will keep it supple and prevent the cracking and drying before it happens. If you are going to be outside for a longer period of time, when skiing or taking a walk, consider applying a protective layer of petroleum jelly to your face as a guard to block between you and the air before going out.
Check out some of these best creams for protecting your skin against the elements.
As for quality lip balm, applying it as a preventive measure instead of waiting to use it as a treatment can be a good idea. Spread some on before going to bed, and when going outside.
Other tips for keeping soft before spring include limiting your bathing time and taking not-so-hot showers, using a humidifier inside to moisturize heated air, getting a monthly facial to exfoliate, if it’s in your budget, (or doing your own), and cutting down on soap that dries out your oils.
For added protection and treatment when you bathe, slather your body with fragrance-free body cream in the shower or just after you get out to take advantage of those open pores.
If you feel you need that hot soak in a tub to relax and warm up, add oil to the water, for nourishment. Olive oil, bath oil or baby oil are all effective. Your skin will drink it up, leaving you soft and supple.
And remember to drink lots of water, and eat celery, cucumber, salmon, eggs, flax seeds, walnuts and quinoa. Voila. Your winter epidermis will thank you, moisturizer and all.