One of the most annoying things to deal with during the winter, besides diseases, and being cold and wet, is taking care of our skin and avoiding dry, cracking, itching skin. So, get rid of it easily with these 10 great tips!
1. Consult a Specialist
Many go to their local drug store hoping that the pharmacist or the local salesperson will know enough to help them with their problems. However, due to different skin types, your living conditions, and a bunch of other factors, it would be a good investment of time and money to go to a specialist instead who can give you advice on the kind of skin care products you can use, or give you a prescription if you need one.
Also, the doctor will be less likely to recommend expensive products unless they are actually useful to your particular situation.
2. Spend More Time Moisturizing
The products that you use in other seasons may not have the same effect when it gets really cold, and so you should change your skin care routine.
Find an oil based ointment moisturizer. The oil will create a layer that will protect the skin and let it retain more moisture than any cream or lotion. Many lotions labeled as night creams will be oil based.
Best to look for 'non-clogging' oils, such as avocado, mineral, almond oil etc.
3. Get Busy With that Sun Screen Lotion
You may think this is only for summertime, but sun screen can help you in the winter as well. Winter sun may not bring as much warmth, but it can still be dangerous and damage your skin. So apply some broad spectrum sunscreen on your face and hands about 30 minutes before going outside.
4. Protect Your Hands
The skin of your hands is thinner and more delicate than most parts of the body, because it has fewer oil glands. This means that in cold weather, it's harder to keep them moist. That's why it's a good idea to wear gloves. Cotton is best, but if you need wool, maybe slip on a thin cotton glove underneath to prevent irritation of the skin.
5. Avoid Wet Clothes!
Wet socks, wet gloves and pretty much wet anything is really bad for your skin, and will irritate it and cause itching, cracking, sores or even eczema.
6. Use a Humidifier
Many air conditioning system blast hot air that dries the skin and sucks the moisture out of the air. Using a humidifier, or several, located around the house or office, will help disperse the moisture so you don't dry out.
7. Avoid Very Hot Baths
We're sorry, we know that soaking in a boiling tub is heaven on a cold winter's night, but if you want to avoid dry skin, this is not the way. The intense heat will break down the lipid layers on your skin, and you will lose moisture. Your best bet is warm water (even hot but not very hot) and staying in it a shorter amount of time.
Tip: A luke-warm bath with baking soda or oatmeal can bring relief to skin that has become so dry it itches.
8. Lotion For Your Feet
The minty foot lotions we use during the summer are not strong enough to do the job during the winter. What you need are lotions that have petroleum jelly or glycerine in them. In addition, you can use exfoliates to scrape off the dead skin, which will help the moisurizers sink in more deeply and quickly.
9. Don't Go Overboard With Peeling
Try not to use harsh peels, masks and alcohol based toners. These will basically strip your face of vital oils you need. What would be best is to find a cleansing milk or a mild foaming cleanser, an alcohol-free toner or 'deep hydration' masks. Don't use them too often so as not to lose those oils.
10. Drinking Water Won't Hydrate Your Skin, Just You
The myth of a better looking skin because you drink more water is just that - a myth. The average person's skin does NOT reflect how much water they've been drinking. You can drink a lot of water and still have dry skin, so don't rely on that for hydrated skin.
Images (by order): imagerymajestic, artur84, winnond / freedigitalphotos.net