Winter Skincare: 10 Practical Tips to Protect Your Skin
As the temperatures drop and the air becomes drier, our skin faces a new set of challenges in winter. Dryness, flakiness, and chapping are common winter skin problems that can cause discomfort and irritation. However, with some practical changes in our skincare regimen, we can protect our skin and keep it healthy during the winter months. Here are 10 tips to help you take care of your skin in winter:
1. Cover your skin, head to toe
Covering your skin is the first line of defense against the cold, dry air. Wear gloves, preferably waterproof, to protect your hands from the cold. Wrap a scarf around your neck and chest to keep the skin covered. A hat pulled low will keep your ears warm and protect your hair from the cold and wind.
2. Don’t wash your hair every day
Washing your hair every day strips it of natural oils that keep your scalp healthy and moisturized. During the winter, when the air is drier, this can further exacerbate dryness and lead to an itchy, flaky scalp. Instead, limit washing your hair to every few days to help maintain moisture.
3. Protect your hair when you do wash
Dry air and wind can make your hair brittle and prone to damage. Switch to a shampoo that provides more moisture than what you usually use and look for a hot oil treatment that can help heal your dry, damaged hair.
4. Change your skin care routine to provide more moisture
Winter air can be harsh on our skin, causing it to become dry and flaky. Use a thicker, heavier moisturizer than you do in warmer seasons to help lock in moisture. Apply lotion to your skin as soon as you get out of the shower to seal in moisture and wash it off with warm water every night to give your skin time to breathe.
5. Use sunscreen
Though it may not be as warm as summer, the sun still poses a danger during winter months. Apply sunscreen half an hour before you go outside to give it a chance to dry and not stick to your clothes, and reapply frequently if you’ll be in the sun for long. Snow and ice can reflect the sun’s rays, increasing your risk of skin damage.
6. Use hand lotion
Our hands are exposed to the elements and can become dry and chapped in the winter months. Use a heavy moisturizing cream in the morning and evening, and apply lotion every time you wash your hands to help prevent dryness.
7. Prevent chapped lips
Our lips are especially vulnerable to dryness and chapping in the winter months. Use a moisturizing lip balm throughout the day and apply Vaseline on top of the balm when going out in extreme cold to protect your lips from the cold.
8. Stay warm, not hot
Hot baths and showers might feel good during the winter months, but they can actually strip moisture from your skin. Instead, use warm water for showers, and consider using a humidifier in your home to infuse moisture into the air.
9. Avoid wet clothes
Wet clothes can irritate your skin, causing itchiness and potential sores. Wear waterproof items of clothing like gloves, boots, and your coat, and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible.
10. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is important to keep our bodies hydrated during colder weather. Avoid alcohol, which can dehydrate the body, and aim for at least eight glasses of water a day to help keep your skin moisturized and healthy.
Taking care of your skin during the winter months requires some extra effort, but the benefits of healthy, moisturized skin are worth it. By following these practical tips, you can protect your skin, prevent dryness and chapping, and look great even when it’s cold outside.