Avoid dry winter skin by following our tips for moisturizing, following a healthy diet, and protecting your skin from the elements.
At this time of year, we’re often greeted with the extra nip of winter in the air. Waking up to find tree branches frosted with ice crystals–beautiful? Yes. But, waking up to itchy dry winter skin–ugly!
Don’t worry. You can keep your skin soft this winter by following these easy steps.
1. Take a smart bath
Extra-hot showers and baths rob your skin of the natural moisturizers it needs to stay soft. In winter use lukewarm water, shorten your bathing time to 10 minutes maximum, and take no more than one shower each day. Enrich your bath with products that contain colloidal oatmeal (oatmeal milled to a fine powder); it binds to the skin, prevents moisture loss, and soothes itchiness. Switch to a soap that contains high levels of natural jojoba, olive, or soybean oils but no added scents. Avoid using exfoliants and scrubbing your skin with scratchy pads or mitts. When you emerge from the bath or shower, remember to moisturize immediately with a vitamin E-rich body lotion.
2. Moisturize the natural way
Frequent application of moisturizer will help replace the water your skin has lost to harsh winter winds. If you have extra-dry skin, look for moisturizers with super-rich oils such as avocado oil, olive oil, or shea butter. If you have a tendency toward oily skin, try a moisturizer with lighter oils such as hazelnut or rose hip oil. Always choose moisturizers without added scents and dyes.
3. Beautify from the inside out!
What you put into your body this winter may be as important as what you put on it. Some dermatologists recommend that moisturizing from the inside out is the key to healthy skin. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, avoid diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol, and enjoy foods such as flaxseed or fatty fish, which are rich in natural oils.
4. Protect from the elements
Most important in winter: remember to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the sun’s reflective power is higher on the snow (80 percent) than on the sand (17 percent), so sun protection is extra important during the snowy months. Apply a product that includes a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher to your face, neck, and any other skin that may be exposed when you’re outside.
Follow these simple steps and your skin will be as vibrant as the winter landscape.