In winter cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin every day. Dry skin can lead to flaking, cracking and bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse and cause even eczema.
To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try these tips.
1. Wash in Lukewarm Water
Skip the long, steamy showers and opt for shorter, cooler sprays. Long, hot showers strip skin of its moisture and wash away protective oils. Choose lukewarm water to shower, wash your face or hands to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.
2. Moisturize Immediately Afterwards
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 at every sink and use liberally every time you wash.
3. Choose Moisturizer Carefully
Switch moisturizers every time the seasons change. Your skin needs more moisture in the winter than in the summer. Choose oil-based moisturizer rather than a water-based solution, as it is more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter. The oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Some moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months.
Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect skin from cold winds, rain, and snow. For soft, young-looking hands and feet, slather on moisturizing cream and then slip on thin fabric socks and gloves while you sleep. However, avoid wet socks and gloves as these can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema. Also, keep your beauty products clean and simple, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Central heating systems and space heaters blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. So consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out. Not only will it ease itchy, dry skin, you will be able to breathe the moist air more easily. If you cannot afford many humidifiers, keep big bowls full of fresh water. This also humidify its surroundings and reduce dryness.
We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but do not 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. However, prevent hard drinks as much as possible. If you have to drink, stop with one glass of wine or one alcoholic drink. Overdoing it enlarges the blood vessels near the surface of your facial skin.
7. Overnight Moisturize
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturizing balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning. This not only moisturize your skin but also make them soft.
Moisture cannot get in your skin if there are too much dead cells and we often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months. Citrus fruit like grapefruit is great exfoliator for smooth skin.
9. Avoid Toxins
It is impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. If you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.
10. Hydrate from the Inside Out
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Water is good for your overall health and drinking water helps your skin to look supple, refresh, acne free, smooth and young. In your diet, include fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. To support the healthy production of collagen and elastin, make sure to get enough vitamin C and zinc.