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Protecting Your Skin During Winter

Winter weather is not fun for the skin. The cold weather and low humidity levels create dry air, which steals moisture away from our skin. Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to cracking and bleeding, and the harsh winter wind makes the problem worse. But frigid weather is only part of the problem: Long, hot showers, sweltering offices, and harsh soaps are also to blame. Additional moisture helps, but you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep your skin looking youthful and smooth. You need to “Winterize your skin care routine!”  To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable try these winter skin care tips.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to help protect your skin during the cold winter season. Remember, as the weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine!

Exfoliate your skin 

Photo: Makeup and Beauty

Photo: Makeup and Beauty

We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter, particularly on our hands. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and hands, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful during these winter months. Make sure you exfoliate at least once a week!

Use a Hydrating Mask

Photo: Song of Style

Photo: Song of Style

Buy or make a DIY hydrating mask to provide needed moisture on your skin. I personally like to use natural moisturizing ingredients for this step.  Use honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, coconut oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix together what you like or what you already have in your home to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration.

Use lip balm or lip scrub

Photo: Essential Health

Photo: Essential Health

Protect your lips from dry winter weather with a healing lip balm. This is great for a split lip too. The moisture will help prevent further splitting, so it can heal. You can also make a lip scrub using sugar and water to heal chapped lips, however I would not recommend this scrub on a split lip. Wait for lips to heal before using the scrub.

Moisturize your skin more often

Photo: Good House Keeping

Photo: Good House Keeping

Layer up on the moisturizer during the cold months. Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower stall, and sink so you will remember to use every time you wash. Go for an oil-based moisturizer rather than a water-based, as it is more likely to help your skin retain moisture.

Slather on the Sunscreen

Photo: The Fashion Foot

Photo: The Fashion Foot

Remember to wear your sunscreen. No, sunscreen isn’t just for summer time! Winter sun combined with snow glare can still damage your skin. It may be a summer staple, but sunscreen is essential during the cloudless winter days. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they are exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside.

Keep showers short

Photo: ATRL

Photo: ATRL

Keep your skin happy by using warm instead of hot water for showers and baths. Hot water can remove the natural oils from your skin. You should also keep your shower time to no more than 10 minutes. When you step out of the shower, gently pat dry your skin with a towel, don’t rub. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy.

Stay Hydrated

Photo: Purely Inspired

Photo: Purely Inspired

We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like hot chocolate, coffee and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time, even though you may not feel as thirsty during the fall and winter months. Drink up!

Invest in a Humidifier

Photo: Amazon

Photo: Amazon

Humidifiers (you know that device you’ve always been meaning to buy) can add mega amounts of moisture into the atmosphere indoors. Plus, they help produce fresh oxygen as you sleep. So even though the dry heat is pumping, you’ll wake up looking fresh-faced.

Bundle up

Photo: Dentelle + Fleurs

Photo: Dentelle + Fleurs

Get use to wearing gloves and scarves to protect skin from cold winds, rain, and snow. Before braving the frigid outdoors, be sure to cover as much exposed skin as you possibly can. The skin on your fingers and toes is particularly susceptible to frostbite and windburn. Protect your body!

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