Winter Skin Care Tips

The cold temperatures brought by the winter season gives more than just the rosy glow on our cheeks.  It also takes the moisture out of our skin, leaving it uncomfortably dry especially around the face, hands, and feet.  For some people, it also causes their skin to flake, crack, and even inflamed. 

However, keeping yourself warm does little in keeping your skin from drying out.  In fact, turning the heat on indoor actually triggers your skin to dry out.  If you want to have soft and moist skin during the harsh winter months, you need to follow these winter skin care tips.

Consult with a skin care specialist

Talking to a drugstore salesperson is not enough if you want the real deal in keeping your skin from drying out during winter.  Visit your local esthetician or dermatologist at least once a year. 

These skin experts can analyze your skin type, provide you with products or treatments that troubleshoot your current skin dilemma, and even give you advice on skin care products you should be using.  However, do not be fooled into thinking that high-end products work better than its inexpensive counterparts.

Use an oil-based moisturizer

Your moisturizer that you use during spring and summer is not as effective during winter because your skin needs more moisture.  Apply your skin with an oil-based, ointment-type of moisturizer (such as night creams) instead of the usual water-based products.  The oil creates a protective layer on your skin, retaining more moisture than lotion.  However, you need to read the label about the type of oil the product contains. 

Look for oils that do not clog your skin’s pores such as avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil.  Watch out for shea oil or vegetable oil, as these can clog facial pores and even leave a greasy feeling.  You may also want to look for lotions with "humectants," a type of substance that attracts moisture to your skin, such as glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen is not only for summertime, as the sun during winter can still damage your skin, especially when the light is reflected to the snow.  This is why you still need your reliable broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply it on your face and hands about 30 minutes before going outside, reapplying frequently as you stay out for a longer time.

Wear gloves

The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body, and has fewer oil glands.  This is why your hands are the hardest in your body to keep moist, especially during cold months, leading to itchiness and cracking.  To keep this from happening as the temperature does down, wear gloves whenever you are going outside. 

If you hate the idea of wearing wool gloves, put on a pair of cotton gloves first to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.  Avoid wearing wet gloves (as well as wet socks), as it can irritate your skin.

Turn on the humidifier

Your home heaters, whether it is from a space heater or a central heating system, blast hot air indoors, causing your skin to dry out more.  To counter this effect, turn on the humidifier as it gets more moisture into the air.  Place several humidifiers throughout your home to disperse moisture more evenly.

Hydrate yourself

Drinking water helps your skin stay younger looking.  However, do not overdrink, as the amount of your skin’s moisture does not reflect in the amount of water you drink.

Take care of cracked heels

Cracked heels require stronger products to winter, such as petroleum jelly or glycerine to attract moisture, as well as exfoliants to get rid off of dead skin.

Avoid using peels for now

Avoid products that strip moisture off your skin such as clay-based facial masks, peels, toners, astringents, and other alcohol-based facial products.  Instead, find a bottle of cleansing milk, or mild foaming cleanser, or "deeply hydrating" masks, and use them a little less often.

Avoid hot showers

Taking a hot bath may feel great under the cold temperature, but the intense heat can actually break down your skin’s lipid barriers and losing its moisture.  Instead, take a bath using warm water at a shorter amount of time.  Put on oatmeal or baking soda while bathing to help relieve your skin against itching, then reapplying your moisturizer after bath.