How To Keep Your Skin Healthy During Winter

By:    Published: January 9, 2013

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You might think that you only need to protect your skin from the UV rays of summer, but your skin is just as vulnerable during the winter. Although your skin may be bundled under layers of cozy clothing during the winter months, it’s still susceptible to the cold winter air and the dry indoor heat. Both strip your skin of its moisture, leaving it dry, flaky and irritated. If you want to keep your skin looking and feeling its best all season long, just follow the tips in this guide.

Moisturize

During the summer months, you want to use a light moisturizer, particularly if you have oily skin. But during the winter, your moisturizer should be thicker since your skin will be more prone to drying out. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients such as:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Jojoba oil

These ingredients will add plenty of moisture to your skin without irritating it.

Don’t Skip The Sunscreen

If the sun isn’t shining and it isn’t warm outside, do you really need to wear sunscreen? The answer is – yes. The sun’s rays are always beating down on Earth, no matter what the weather condition, so it’s always a good idea to cover up with sunscreen. The sun’s rays can sometimes be more harmful in the wintertime because they reflect off of the snow, so if you plan on spending time in the snow, protect your skin with a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

Avoid Hot Showers

When the temperatures are below fifty degrees and the wind cuts you to the bones, you’ll want nothing more than to jump into a hot shower or bath. But hot water can dry out your skin, which is already a wintertime problem, so try to use warm or lukewarm water only.

Exfoliate Often

Exfoliating is an important part of anyone’s skin routine but it becomes even more important in the winter. When the temperatures are cold and your skin is drying out, the dead skin cells can build up, causing your skin to feel rough and scaly. So be sure to exfoliate often with either a loofah or a washcloth, and a moisturizing cleanser.

Use A Humidifier

If the air inside your house is as dry as the air outside, use a humidifier to restore the moisture into the air – and into your skin. Keep the humidifier in your bedroom or living room and make sure all doors to that room are closed when the humidifier is in use.

Carry Face Mist

To further keep your skin hydrated, carry a face mist spray in your bag or car, or keep a bottle at work. You can buy a bottle at a grocery store or drug store and some are even made by water bottling companies. You can also make your own by filling a small spray bottle with water or rosewater. By misting your face often, you can prevent the skin from getting chapped in those biting winds.

Stay Hydrated

The one step in skin care that should be practiced year-round is hydration. By drinking plenty of fluids, your skin will stay properly hydrated and will flush any toxins out of your skin. Remember, staying hydrated means drinking water, even when you’re not thirsty.

Tips For Those With Skin Problems

All of these tips are applicable to everyone, but what if you already have a skin problem such as psoriasis, eczema or xerosis? Your skin problem will be exacerbated by the winter weather and you’ll need to try even harder to keep your skin healthy. Here are some suggestions that can help:

  • Avoid irritating clothing – Heavy wools and polyester can be itchy and uncomfortable, so try to avoid these and any other fabrics that might irritate your skin. Wear breathable fabrics like cotton and make sure that your clothing isn’t as form-fitting so your skin can breathe.
  • Try an oatmeal bath – Oatmeal can soothe your skin and alleviate any irritation as well as remove any dead skin cells. Try adding some to your next bath – just blend a packet of instant oatmeal, a little bit of cornstarch and milk powder, and stir the mixture into your bathwater.
  • Look into phototherapy – Those who have psoriasis are caught in a bind in the wintertime. They need to sun to alleviate some of their symptoms, but in the cold temperatures and under layers of clothing, the sun can’t do its job. So phototherapy, and even certain medications, may be able to help those with psoriasis, according to Health.com. But before you try these alternatives, consult with your doctor to see if they would be a suitable option for you.

Above all, the best way to keep your skin healthy is to keep your body healthy. By maintaining a balanced diet, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly, you’ll be able to keep your body’s largest organ healthy during every season.

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