Brace yourselves; winter is coming. In this particular case we’re talking about taking caution of your skin, but a big high-five to all those who got (or shall we say GoT) the Game of Thrones reference. Yes, digging out your down coat and gloves isn’t the only thing you need to worry about as the thermostat begins to drop. Cold weather also brings along low humidity levels and indoor heating, and the combination of the three results in dry air, which ultimately steals away moisture from our pores pretty much every second of the day. The best way to prep your skin for the harsh conditions is to start making changes to your routine now. Skin care in winter is about more than the beauty aisle.
Here are 6 simple ways to avoid winter skin woes:
We all know that staying hydrated is vital for health. Unfortunately, it’s during the colder months that we tend to turn to hot, seasonal beverages and therefore end up drinking less H2O. But don’t forget that your skin needs to be moisturized from the inside out. Consuming plenty of water will help to not only ensure a healthy, glowing complexion, but also keep the body in tiptop shape to perform its many functions.
Eating foods high in water content can also help your skin stay hydrated and soft. Try to incorporate fruits such as apples and oranges and veggies like celery, tomatoes and cucumbers into your diet as much as possible. Also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, zinc and omega-3s, which help to retain moisture. Dermatologist Jeanine Downie recommends oatmeal, as it is “full of vitamins, minerals and lipids that help keep skin looking healthy”.
Avoid super hot, long showers
While tempting as a quick-fix method to warm up, showering in scalding temperatures dries out skin and leaves it more susceptible to outdoor damage. This is because hot water removes natural oils from the skin. So instead try to stick with a shorter, mild scrub-down and apply a moisturizer of sorts after toweling off to lock in hydration.
Heating systems actually take the moisture out of the air, so it’s worth considering a humidifier to add some back in.
Consider a humidifier
As mentioned earlier, heating systems actually take the moisture out of the air, so it’s worth considering a humidifier to add some back in. Going much further than soothing sore throats and congestion, the health effects of the steam will hyper-hydrate your skin and ward off breakouts and wrinkles. Dermatologist Doris Day says to, “keep it on overnight, setting it just high enough to add water into the air without completely fogging up your windows” for optimal usage. Talk about some boosted beauty sleep.
Protecting our skin with sunscreen is a rule, one that industry experts preach about, that applies all year-round. Yes, even when it’s dusky, dismal and below the freezing point outside. Although weaker, the sun’s rays are still effective during the winter months and can easily harm the skin and cause wrinkles, among other more dangerous consequences. Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day, no matter the season, and reapply it often.
It’s obviously important to keep skin moisturized. While thicker, heavier sweaters may be needed to brave the subzero temps, your moisturizer doesn’t necessarily have to be. While there are a variety out there all claiming to be the cure-all for a dry, lackluster complexion, be sure to choose a product that specifically serves you. It’s all about the ingredients and your skin type. Moisturize daily and, again, try to immediately after showering to trap in some much-needed water.