Exposure to cold wintry winds or the drying effects resulting from indoor forced-air heating can leave your skin feeling dried out and chapped.
Okay, I’m not suggesting that you should stop bathing and drive people away due to lack of personal hygiene. However, gaining a little understanding about how our skin thrives and survives should be considered as a part of your daily skin regime.
Here are four steps that can help you combat winter dryness and keep your skin glowing all winter long:
Step 1: An Ounce of Prevention Can Go a Long Way
If the wind is blowing or it’s snowing outside, make sure your family is always properly outfitted before they leave the house. If you venture out into snow or a windstorm without protecting your skin first with moisturizer, sunscreen, and a scarf & gloves, your skin will take a beating and it may take weeks to fully recover.
Step 2: Turn Down the Thermostat
My dream is to one day live in a home with a radiant heating system or radiant heat flooring…but so far that hasn’t happened. So if you're like me and you're living with forced-air heating, you probably already know how drying it can be on your skin and hair. You can add a humidifier during the winter months, but an even simpler solution is to get in the habit of dressing warmly with layers and experiment with turning down the heat a couple of notches. This can be especially helpful to your skin & hair during all those hours spent sleeping. If you initially get some resistance from your family about this idea, try adding some cozy bedding details. Items like a fluffy down comforter paired with flannel sheets can be an enticing persuader for them to at least give your idea a try.
Step 3: Less Is More When It Comes to Bathing or Showering in Winter
I’m an avid bath-taker, so I fully understand how tempting it can be to soak in a hot bath or to take a warm steamy shower to heat your body up during the cold winter months. It always feel great while we’re soaking or showering, but unfortunately hot water tends to remove the body’s natural oils much more quickly than warm or cool water does. So take this fact into consideration and make adjustments like using warm water instead of hot, shortening the duration of your shower or bath, and taking care to softly pat your skin dry after bathing, instead of rubbing it harshly. And make sure to apply moisturizer immediately after bathing to help condition and create a protective barrier for your skin.
Step 4: Protect & Moisturize on a Daily Basis
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can skip using your sunscreen during the winter months. Did you know that almost 80% of the suns harmful rays can easily penetrate weather like fog, cloud cover, or snow? Many face moisturizers now offer both UVA and UVB protection, and it’s advisable to reapply these moisturizers several times throughout the day. If you’re wondering why lips so often become chapped in winter, it's partially because they don’t contain any oil glands. Make sure to keep plenty of lip balm where it can be easily accessed when you need it. I always keep at least one in my purse, one in my car, and one tucked away in the pocket of my heavy coat. That way I don’t find myself in situations where I’m caught off guard and unable to protect or moisturize my lips in the circumstances when they need it the most. And don’t forget to apply moisturizer with sunscreen to the tops of your hands and the front and back of your neck, places people often forget to protect.
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