It’s no secret — winter is murder on soft, supple skin. Turn the heater on, and instantly your skin is robbed of natural moisture — which results in tight, uncomfortable, painfully dry skin on face, hands and feet. Worse yet, it can lead to flaking, cracking and even eczema in some extreme instances. It’s a harsh reality, but cold weather months are not skin-friendly, and it’s time to FACE it so we can take back our glow!
1. See a specialist
Truth is, you won’t find skin experts at your local department store. When faced with aisles upon aisles of shelf after shelf of products, it’s hard to know what you’re looking at, let alone what you should be looking for. A dermatologist or esthetician can analyze your skin type, help with your current skin care regimen and give you the skinny on what skin care products you should use. You don’t have to go high-end, but after consulting an expert, you’ll know what ingredients to look for and which to avoid.
2. More moisturizer
Just because a moisturizer works for you in the summertime, doesn’t mean it will be enough in the winter. Your skin’s needs change with the harsher weather, so you’ll likely need to change your skin care routine. Instead of water-based moisturizers, find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based which will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Choose an appropriate oil for facial use, though. Look for “non clogging” oils. Avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil or almond oil are all good ingredients to look for. You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin.
3. Keep using sunscreen
Sun protection isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.
4. Protect your hands
The skin on your hands is thinner than other parts of the body and has fewer oil glands, so it’s much harder to keep them moisturized. Be sure to wear gloves when you go outside, and avoid wet gloves at all costs (keep an extra pair in your purse). Moisturize overnight with a thick layer of oil-based moisturizer and wear cotton gloves or socks over your hands to keep the lotion from rubbing off.
5. Break out the humidifier
Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Small humidifiers, like the Crane Warm Mist Humidifier, can be placed throughout your home — in areas with the highest traffic — to create a better environment for your skin.
6. Limit facial masks
If your face is uncomfortably dry, skip the harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents. They will strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are deeply hydrating rather than clay-based. Use all masks less often.
7. Skip the super hot bath
Of course the best way to battle the outdoor temps is to take a scalding shower, but the intense heat actually breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, which leads to a loss of moisture. Water in general can actually be somewhat drying in the winter months. Skip your super hot shower and opt instead for warm shower temps for a shorter amount of time.
8. Don’t forget to exfoliate
Exfoliation is an important part of your skin care regimen. Exfoliating rubs away dull, dry or dead skin cells and helps to prevent clogged pores. Use a gentle exfoliant without harsh chemicals or alcohol. Fruit and vegetable based exfoliants are best.
9. Hydrate from the inside out
Although the idea that drinking more water will automatically give your winter skin a healthy glow and prevent it from cracking and tightening, those who are dehydrated will feel the benefit of water consumption, even in their skin. A normal 10-12 glasses a day will keep you healthy, inside and out. Flaxseed oil can help from the inside out, as well.
10. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Once you’ve moisturized your hands, feet and face, don’t think the task is complete. You’ll want to continue to re-moisturize throughout your day, instead of simply in the morning and at night as you may normally do.
Below you’ll find links to some DIY skin care products that can help retain that soft, radiant skin:
- 2-Ingredient Exfoliating Scrubs
- Oatmeal Honey Face Scrub
- Super Hydrating Face Mask
- Skin Hydrating Smoothy
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com