Between the harsh winds and chilly temps outside, and the low humidity and dry heat inside, the winter can wreak havoc on skin, leading to dehydration, redness, dryness, irritation and more. Keep skin healthy, soft and hydrated this winter by incorporating these eight winter tips.
#1 More is better, when it comes to moisturizing!
Why: Ever wonder why young smooth hands can look older in winter? When the skin dries, wrinkles are more prominent! That’s why it’s important to switch out a lighter summer moisturizer to a heavier, creamier one for colder autumn or winter air. By using a thicker cream on the face and body daily, skin will lock in moisture and be softer and smoother.
How: For the face and body, use a thicker, oil-based moisturizer for dry skin and a water-based moisturizer for oily skin. For nasal passageways, keep them hydrated by using salt water (saline) drops or rubbing petroleum jelly. Drinking water is also vital throughout the day to keep skin and mouth
#2 Exfoliate gently and regularly for a healthy glow.
Why: It’s the first crucial step to quenching thirsty dry skin, as dry buildup on the surface of the skin can prevent moisturizers from penetrating. Exfoliating can also help moisturizers absorb into skin, faster and deeper, and even skin tone.
How: Exfoliate twice a week to get rid of dry, dead skin cells and restore a fresh glow to the skin. To do this, use a facial cleanser or exfoliator with exfoliating beads to keep skin from drying out.
#3 Don’t forget the sunscreen! (yes, even in winter).
Why: The only thing worse than winter wind is winter sunburn. The sun’s UV rays – those aging and cancer-causing rays that penetrate through windows and clouds, and into the deepest layer of skin – are still shining every day, even in winter! Did you know 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays reflect up from the snow?
How: To keep skin looking healthy and beautiful all winter, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen, with at least SPF 30, to any exposed areas daily. For extra sensitive skin, find a sunscreen that is gentle and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)-free.
#4 Get cracking – Treat and heal the extremities!
Why: It’s bad enough to have freezing fingers and toes, but experiencing dry, cracked, and chapped skin on the lips, feet, scalp, heels, hands or elbows during winter can be uncomfortable and painful! Here are several ways to treat and heal dry skin immediately, and how to prevent dryness in the future.
How to treat/heal cracked skin now: For the lips, apply a balm, jelly, beeswax or thick moisturizing cream throughout the day to keep them from chapping. For the elbows or heels, apply a moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering to lock in moisture.
How: Incorporating an exfoliating and moisturizing step into a daily skincare routine can help prevent any scaly, itchy skin. Avoiding rubbing or scratching also helps. If the condition persists or worsens, there are many over-the-counter lotions, creams and moisturizers to help manage dryness.
#5 Shorten and warm down bathing time.
Why: Soaking in the tub or taking long hot showers might feel tempting on cold winter mornings, but heat and steam strips the skin of natural oils, making dry skin even itchier.
How: Turn down the water to warm–not hot–and shorten showers to 10 minutes or less. Try adding oatmeal or baking soda, which can relieve dry skin before it becomes itchy. After bathing, immediately apply a moisturizer while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture.
#6 Avoid harsh facial peels; opt for deep hydrating masks.
Why: An essential part of any complete winter skin care regimen includes a basic facial peel; however winter skin is naturally more dry, red and sensitive. That means aggressive chemical peels can exacerbate redness and irritation.
How: Make sure to avoid using harsh peels, chemicals and alcohol-based toners that include an ingredient called hyaluronic acid. Instead, opt for an alcohol-free toner or deep hydrating mask over a clay-based one.
#7 Hydrate from the outside, in. Invest in a humidifier.
Why: Even the heat sources indoors can contribute to dry, cracked skin, making it look dull and feel rough.
Humidifiers or vaporizers bring moisture back into the air and help prevent a flaky, itchy outer layer on the skin. What’s more, they improve the texture and skin tone, and also decrease sinus sensitivity and keep hair and nails hydrated, too.
How: Place a humidifier in the home, kid’s room, bedroom or office to alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds and other pesky cold-weather conditions. Sleep with a humidifier to help alleviate snoring, relieve sinus infections and prevent nosebleeds. Before purchasing one, check local retail stores for models that fit space, budget and health needs.
#8 Pack smart, travel smart. Have a winter skincare bag ready.
Why: Traveling during the winter months – whether it’s for a family vacation, tropical getaway, work trip or around town – doesn’t mean that skin has to suffer. A winter skincare routine includes just a few items that can multitask and perform under all conditions is essential.
How: First thing’s first, ace the base. A basic winter skincare routine includes a primer, exfoliator, moisturizer, cleanser, mask and sunscreen. Also pack daily supplements and vitamins in small sandwich bags to reduce bottle bulk.
©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2015