While most of us are aware of how much we need to protect our skin from the hot, humid summer weather, plenty is often not concerned about giving the same effort towards their skin during cold winter days. We should understand that our skin also endures harsh winter conditions.
The weather during the winter months is cold and dry. And this condition could cause our skin’s moisture to evaporate. Our skin then tends to become dry, flaky, and tight, making it dull-looking.
The freezing temperature outside makes the pores in our skin shrink. As heat accumulates inside our skin, it becomes greasy and ‘loaded’ with dirt. With no proper regimen, it could lead to rashes and even acne outbreaks.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD), even the simple things during winter, such as enjoying a hot shower and sitting by a roaring fire, can cause harm to our skin.
But fret not, for there are plenty of ways we can combat dry winter skin and keep it moisturized and glowing throughout the season. While it could mean changing some of the everyday routines we are used to, these changes could make a lot of difference.
Here are ways to keep your skin glowing this coming winter.
1. Invest in a Good Humidifier
During the winter months, the indoor air is dry due to heating. This leads to dry, flaky, and ‘loaded’ skin. But this can be solved with the use of humidifiers.
Humidifiers are helpful in adding moisture back into the air and in keeping your skin hydrated. So make sure to run a humidifier in the rooms you frequent, especially your bedroom.
Take note also of your humidifier setting. Based on an article in Harvard Health Publishing, a 60% humidifier setting helps replenish the moisture lost in the top layer of your skin.
2. Go Easy on the Temperature
It is always tempting to crank up the heat when it is chilly outside. However, keeping your central heating could do more harm than good to your skin. Opt instead to set the thermostat at a 68° to 72°F setting to keep your skin healthy and supple.
The same thing goes for a hot shower or bath during winter. While it may be soothing, especially at the end of the day, dermatologists suggest against long, steamy, hot showers. Your skin would benefit more from a 5 to 10-minute lukewarm shower or bath.
When washing hands, avoid hot water. Cooler water has the same effectiveness as warm water in removing dirt and germs without irritating your skin.
3. Adjust Your Skincare Routine Fit for the Season
We need to understand as well the value of changing our skincare routine to fit the season. While the high humidity levels in summer cause dreadful breakouts that leave pigmented scars in need of acne scar removal treatment, the dry air in winter leads to flaky skin.
During the cold winter months, swap to cream-based cleansers and use toners and astringents minimally. Most astringents are alcohol base, thus further causing dryness to our skin. If your skin tends to be sensitive or easily irritated during winter, consider simplifying your skincare routine throughout the season.
4. Moisturize and Apply Sunscreen
It is vital to keep skin moisturized, especially during winter. When you wash your hands, face, or body, natural oils from your skin are stripped. It is vital to replace them to prevent your skin from drying.
Emollients are said to be excellent in revitalizing or preventing dry skin. Since they are heavier types of cream, it is best to use them for overnight treatment.
Even when the air is cooler during the winter months, do not forget your sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the reflection of the sun’s rays on a bright winter day increases your risk of exposure up to 80%. Opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
5. Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Do not just settle with external ways in keeping your skin moisturized and glowing throughout winter; you also need to watch out for what you put inside your body. What you eat and drink is reflected by the status of your skin.
To keep your skin glowing and healthy winter months and beyond, keep yourself hydrated. Doctors recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water every day. Apart from that, you need to focus on the food you eat. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high in antioxidants helps keep skin healthy-looking.
6. Wear Appropriate Clothing
A lot of winter clothes are made of materials that only irritate further dry winter skin. Experts suggest against rough clothing and wool directly touching the skin as it only aggravates the skin condition. Instead, we need to wear light layers of clothing first before donning warmer and heavier winter clothes.
It also helps to avoid washing clothes using regular detergents. Opt for ones formulated exactly for sensitive skin.
Do not forget to protect your hands as well from the cold winter air. Wear gloves and mittens when out in the cold. When washing dishes, utilize a pair of silicone gloves.
The skin is the largest organ in your body. Therefore, it pays to give it a little more attention, especially in the coming winter months.