Moisture, moisture, moisture!
As the heat cranks up indoors and the temperatures cool down outdoors, your skin is up against some harsh drying elements. It’s crucial in the winter to combat these drying factors with extra moisturizers. Keep your lotions, and moisturizers close at hand so you are prepared to re-apply whenever your skin starts to feel dry or chapped. Use richer and thicker moisturizers that are oil-based rather than water-based as the oil will act as a protective barrier against the cold while locking in moisture.
Exfoliate, but take it easy
Exfoliation, while an essential step in our skincare routine to help our moisturizer penetrate deeply into our pores, can irritate the skin if done too often, even in the warmest of months. That’s why it’s important to tone down your exfoliating routine in the winter months when your skin is more susceptible to the temperature changes. Limit exfoliating to the evenings and don’t exfoliate too often. How often is too often? If you notice your skin is becoming red, sensitive, or tender, you’ve overdone it. On the other hand, if your skin looks dull and rough, then you could do with a little more.
Turn down the heat and up the humidity
While our first instinct when it gets cold is to turn up the heat at home, this is not a wise move for our skin. The dry, warm air from our heaters only dries our skin out more. This goes for our showers as well. Keep things warm, but not too hot. Also, consider buying a humidifier for your home. This will help add moisture back into the air that you can lack from your natural environment.
Reconsider your cleanser
By now, you probably know that foaming cleansers can be harsh and drying on our skin. That’s why it’s extra important to avoid them in the winter months and choose a mild cleanser instead. Look for milky, cream or balm cleansers instead of your average soap or gel options. And after cleansing, be sure to follow up with a rich cream or moisturizer to prevent your skin from cracking and aging.
Yep, you still need that sunscreen
In the winter months, when the sun barely seems to grace us with her presence, you may think, “Sunscreen? Why would I need that?” But just because the sun isn’t shining brightly, doesn’t mean it can’t damage our skin. The sun’s UVA rays can reach through the clouds and deep into our skin, breaking down skin cells and increasing our risk of cancer in the process. If you’re out in the snow, the glare from the sun can be even more harmful than a day at the beach, as snow reflects light better than sand. To keep your skin protected, be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of at least 30, and let it fully sink in before leaving the house.