Winter Skin Worries? These Tips Can Help

Your appearance can be affected by the change of seasons, especially come wintertime. But there are things you can do to fend off the negative effects of cold weather.

The weather has taken a turn in parts of the world, and snow has already graced us with its presence in many places. With the change of seasons, our appearance can be affected and not necessarily in a good way. One of the biggest concerns with the chilly weather is our skin. When we walk outside into the cold weather and feel that instant stinging on our faces, it’s time to kick our skin care habits up a notch.

In the pursuit of healthy skin, we need to be just as concerned with what’s going on inside our homes as outside. Whenever we are exposed to a combination of colder temperatures and reduced humidity, our skin can suffer. The result can be skin that’s dry, itchy, uncomfortable and sensitive to temperature extremes. Dry air can also lead to tiny cracks on the surface of the skin. Cracks in our skin can act as entry points for impurities, which can be painful and unsightly.

When the dry indoor air depletes our moisture, we are also prone to giving and receiving electric shocks. That static electricity can also cause our hair to be uncontrollable and stand on end. And the static cling of a skirt on the legs can be totally annoying.

Here are a few tips to survive the elements both indoors and out:

Avoid Long Showers and Baths

Nothing feels better on a cold day then a long, steamy, hot bath. But long exposure to hot water can further dehydrate your skin by stripping the oils from the surface. So, keep them short and on the cooler side, if possible. Use only moisturizing bubble baths, soaps or shower gels, preferably those containing moisturizing ingredients like Aloe vera.

Top Tip: Don’t rub your skin dry—pat it down with a soft, fluffy towel. Rubbing your skin can be too harsh and lead to flaky skin on the surface.

Double Down On Moisturizer

Double down and be incredibly diligent with your moisturizing products. You many also need to reapply throughout the day. Remember to apply, apply and reapply to keep skin hydrated and elastic.

Top Tip: Always apply your moisturizing products immediately after your shower or bath when your skin is still damp. Look for skin moisturizing ingredients like Aloe, Shea butter, olive and coconut oils.

Drink Up

No matter what, it’s important to stay hydrated 365 days a year. Water, tea and other hydration drinks are great for the entire body. Our bodies need water and it’s important to avoid dehydration at all costs. So, drink up.

Top Tip:
 Add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange juice to your water. It’ll taste better, and citrus fruits are known for containing antioxidant vitamins.

Love Your Lips

Boy, oh boy, do our lips suffer in the wintertime. The most important thing you can do is to apply an emollient lip balm to moisturize and soften the delicate skin of your lips. Choose a product with SPF protection for daytime use. And remember to reapply throughout the day and especially at bedtime.

Top Tip: Be sure to exfoliate the skin on your lips. This will help remove the dead and dry skin, leaving them looking and feeling soft and smooth.

Put the Moisture Back into Your Home

You can add moisture back into the air in your home by using a humidifier or two. There are many humidifiers to choose from, including small personal humidifiers that you can keep on your nightstand or desk at work.

Top Tip: If you don’t have a humidifier, heat a large pot of water on your stovetop and let it simmer throughout the day.

Take Advantage of the Night

At night and before bed, slather on your favorite hand cream, and be sure to rub it into your cuticles and elbows, too. Do the same with your feet. Cover your tootsies with a pair of cotton socks and sleep well.

Top Tip:
 Keep hand cream next to every sink in your house and office, and make sure to apply after you wash your hands every single time.

Reach for a Non-Fragrant Dryer Sheet

The quickest way to tame static in your hair and your clothing is with a dryer sheet. Swipe one quickly across your hair and the flyways will immediately calm down. A quick swipe on your clinging dress with your favorite dryer sheet and no more static cling!

Top Tip: Keep a dryer sheet in your handbag, gym bag or even in your glove compartment.

Written by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

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