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10 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

10 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

The weather outside may be unsightly, but your skin doesn’t have to be. For many of us, the cold clear days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin of the face, hands, and feet. The problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling. The skin gets so dry it results in flaking, cracking, and even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed). Sounds familiar? Read on to get our top 10 tips for boosting your winter skin care regimen, so that your skin stays moist and healthy through the winter months.

Moisturise More

You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer. But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skincare routine. Find an “ointment” moisturiser that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. (Hint: Many lotions labelled as “night creams” are oil-based).

Slather on the Sunscreen

No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun combined with snow glare can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad spectrum of sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) for about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.

Take Good Care of your Hands

The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.

Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks

Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.

Get a 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. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home; they help disperse the moisture more evenly.

Hydrate Well

Drinking water helps your skin to stay hydrated. Also, water is good for your overall health. We might not feel thirsty in the winters but we must keep in mind to drink water regularly. It is advisable to drink 10-12 glasses of water every day.

Grease Up Your Feet

Yes, those minty foot lotions are lovely in the hot summer months, but during the winter, your feet need stronger stuff. Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically; that helps any moisturisers you use to sink in faster and deeper.

Pace the Peels

If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can 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, which tends to draw moisture out of the face. And use them a little less often.

Avoid Superhot Baths

Sure, soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy. If those techniques don’t work, you should see a dermatologist.

Seek a Specialist

If you go to your local drugstore, you’ll be hard put to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment. Such a specialist can analyse your skin type, troubleshoot your current skincare regimen, and give you advice on the skincare products you should be using.

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