Many of us associate winter with sitting beside a roaring fire watching the snowfall gently outside our window. We love to cozy up with a soft wrap and binge watch our favorite shows, maybe with our dog sleeping by our side. Lovely as that thought may be, there is another side to winter.
No matter where you live, your skin takes a beating in the winter. We certainly can’t control the weather, but there are a lot of things we can do to improve the health of our skin during the cold winter months ahead!
Baby It’s Cold Outside
Cold weather also means forced air heating, biting winds, and yes, red, irritated, dry, and itchy skin. Everywhere you turn, the cold and dry air is sucking all the moisture out of your skin.
Don’t despair if you live in such a climate. Some of these tips may seem counterintuitive, but make a few changes, and you may actually be able to enjoy that roaring fire.
Skip the Hot Water
Keep that shower to 10 minutes tops, and remember that there is no need to shower or bathe in very hot water during the winter. These high temperatures only strips us of needed moisture and natural oils.
Instead, use a tepid or moderate temperature, and keep the door to the bathroom closed to capture all the moisture.
Seek Out a Cream or Ointment to Moisturize Your Skin
A soon as you exit the shower or bath, towel dry by gently patting your skin and immediately add your moisturizer to lock in the hydration. Thicker creams are better than a lotion in winter, so put those products away until spring when the weather starts to get warmer.
Buy a Humidifier
Find a humidifier that uses a cool mist to add moisture to the air. These are especially great to have in the bedroom to rehydrate your skin while you sleep. It may also be worth getting a second one for your main living space. Not only will your skin thank you, but your eyes and hair will too.
Don’t Forget Your Hands and Feet
We tend to wash our hands more frequently during the winter to steer clear of the flu virus. Doing so tends to make your hands, nails, and cuticles even more dry and cracked. Try keeping a hand moisturizer near each sink where you wash your hands for easy access.
To keep your feet soft throughout the winter, apply moisturizers to them both at night and sleep in warm soft socks.
Check Your Face Products
Set aside any facial cleansers that contain alcohol or astringents as their goal is to dry out our skin. Pick fragrance-free cleansers and use a rich moisturizer at night. Our lips can get cracked and dry so apply some petroleum jelly or a balm to keep your lips pucker soft.
Exfoliate All Over
There’s no point in putting moisture on your skin if you do so over dead skin cells. Find a gentle exfoliant for the face and lips, and take a look at a few of the wonderful exfoliating body washes that are out there.
Just be careful not to overdo the exfoliation, as this will only further irritate your skin.
Baby Your Face
Keep your face safe from the cold air and dry winds by not only wearing sunscreen every day, but wearing protection for your head, face, and ears. Use goggles with UV protection while skiing or participating in any winter sports activities since the sun reflecting off the snow can ravage your skin and eyes.
You can avoid dry, flaky skin in winter, and enjoy all the festivities, plus the crackling fire and hot chocolate if you practice these tips and pay attention to your skin.
If these tips are not sufficient, contact Davidson Family Medicine at (704) 892-5454 about a prescription strength moisturizer.