Do you have the winter skin blues?
This time of year, even those of us who don’t typically suffer from dry skin tend to deal with a more parched outer shell. The combination of cold, dry air outside and dry indoor heat can really zap your skin of moisture. And this isn’t just on your face, but on your hands, feet and really, your whole body! While there’s no magic solution to combat this dryness, here are some steps you can take until that warm, muggy air returns.
Limit the length of your shower or bath. And while you may be tempted to use really hot water to warm up, resist the temptation, as hot water will strip the natural oils from your skin faster than lukewarm water.
Use a good quality, mild soap. Soap with occlusive ingredients (such as shea butter, cocoa butter, etc.) help to provide a physical barrier to lock moisture into your skin.
Apply a moisturizer right after your bath or shower. Yes, on your face, but also use a good quality body lotion or body butter all over, especially rough patches such as hands, feet, elbows and knees. Again, any time you wash your face, hands, or body, you strip your skin of its natural oils. Since these oils help to lock in moisture, it’s vital to replace them. That’s why it’s important to use a moisturizer any time you wash your skin, especially in winter.
Don’t over exfoliate. Exfoliants will help remove dead skin cells, which is great, but too much of a good thing will just irritate your skin
Adjust your normal skin care routine. Try to incorporate an overnight, extra hydrating emollient. While you sleep your skin will have the time it needs to absorb the treatment and for the emollient to replenish your skin with the moisture and oils it needs.
Use a humidifier. This will help put moisture back into the air, which can be especially helpful when indoor heating is cranked up in the winter months. Having more moisture in the air can help act as a natural moisturizing agent which, in turn, may prevent and relieve skin dryness.
Hydrate from the inside by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. And we do mean water, not soda or coffee. Sugar and caffeine in excess can both cause dehydration.
Don’t forget your eyes and lips! Use saline drops to help with dry eyes and regularly apply lip balm to moisturize that thin skin on your lips.
We’re not sure how accurate Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction is, but if we really will have six more weeks of winter, you might want to start pampering your skin NOW!