As winter rolls around, cold weather not only affects our personal style, but also affects our skin. Low humidity in the winter air can cause problematic dry skin; hence, keeping your skin healthy and moisturized is not always easy. Fortunately, there are many ways to hydrate the skin during winter to keep it moist and glowing.
1. To start off, avoid taking long hot showers. Our skin's protective barrier naturally contains special proteins and lipids that lock in moisture. But, taking hot showers will dry out skin and strip it of it's natural oil. Even though hot showers feel great in the winter, remember that short, warm showers will be more beneficial for future glorious skin. Hey, you can even save water in the process!
2. Avoid using standardized hand and body soap. Commercially produced soaps and cleansers can strip the skin of their natural moisture and makes it more vulnerable, dry, and sensitive. During bath time, use a body wash that contains moisturizing ingredients like Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash (~$6) or Dove Supreme Cream Ultra Rich Velvet Softening Oil (~$9).
3. Use moisturizer every day. We all know that moisturizers are especially important during the winter; they provide hydration and form protective barriers to keep the moisture in. When you choose a moisturizer, remember to buy the ones with Vitamin A, D, and E. Lotions that are made of oil, milk, cream, and butter provide the best defense against the cold.
The best time to apply moisturizers is within 3 minutes after getting out of the shower. Before going to sleep, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to sooth your skin after a day of cold air. Also use moisturizer before leaving in the morning--using those with 15 to 30 SFP is even better! If you hands and feet are dry too, apply a thick layer of moisturizer and then cover your hands and feet with gloves and socks before going to sleep. My personal favorite moisturizers are Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($24) for face and Jergens Shea Butter Cream (~$4) for body.
4. Moisturize your lips. The skin on your lips retains less moisture than the other parts of your body. Hence, pick a lip balm with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and olive oil. Apply it often, especially before bed and going out in the cold weather. I personally prefer to use Vaseline. Even though petroleum jelly is a by-product of oil production, it softens your lips and creates a barrier to reduce moisture loss.
5. Drink water and eat healthy. Keeping your body moisturized will help your skin be moisturized and healthy. You can take care of yourself from the inside by drinking plenty of water (I recommended drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day!). Remember to carry water every where you go in a sturdy, reusable bottle so you can stay hydrated and help reduce the use of plastic bottles.
Eating a lot of fresh vegetable and fruit will also help you toward a healthy body, especially food with omega-3 oils. Shellfish and pumpkin seeds are good sources of zinc, which is very important for healthy skin. A good diet will definitely help you get healthy skin.
Just because the weather is cold and dry in the winter doesn't mean your skin has to suffer too! Remember to keep these tips in mind and you'll look and feel great all year round!