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Winter has finally arrived and dry skin, rough knuckles and chapped lips came along with it, it can feel like there’s no escape: cold, blustery conditions outside can leave your skin feeling raw, while indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and from your skin.
Even the things that make winter wonderful, such as sitting by a roaring fire, can dry your skin, and though taking a hot shower might seem like a good way to warm up, hot water dries out your skin by stripping it of its natural oils.
But there are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long, including some easy changes to your everyday routine.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to effective winter skincare, so that you can feel your best all winter long.
To counter the drying effects of indoor heat we suggest investing in a humidifier. You can use a portable or table top model or one that integrates with your existing heating system. Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom.
It may be tempting to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin will be much better-served with a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower (or bath) as the natural oils your skin produces also help protect it and keep it healthy.
You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands for the same reasons. Washing your hands in cooler water appears to be as effective at removing germs as warm water and is less irritating to skin. And if you're using a restroom air hand-dryer, use it just until your hands are damp rather than perfectly dry.
It's a good idea to trade in your current body wash for a more moisturizing hydrating cleanser in winter particularly if your usual choice contains drying ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid. With no added fragrance and double the olive oil, Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soap is good for sensitive skin - babies too (though not tear-free!). Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Bar Soap is made with certified fair trade ingredients and organic hemp oil for a soft, smooth lather that won't dry your skin. 100% biodegradable in a 100% post-consumer recycled wrapper. Tone and moisturize within 30 seconds of finishing cleansing to avoid further dehydration.
During the winter months, choose cream-based cleansers, for example Kinvara Absolute Cleansing Oil is a hot cloth face cleanser made only from 100% plant oils that contains no harsh chemicals. It contains an innovative blend of skin loving plant oils to restore balance and cleanse your skin, gently and effectively. It also removes make-up, even stubborn mascara, effortlessly. Daily use will leave you feeling fresh faced, fabulous and a step closer to great skin.
Apply toners and astringents sparingly, if at all: many astringents contain alcohol, which can further dry your skin. When your skin is dry and itchy stop using products that contain alcohol and fragrances in order to help your skin retain its natural oils. Consider overnight deep moisturizer treatments which can help particularly dry areas like hands feet elbows knees and lips. Cover with cotton gloves and socks to hold the moisture in all night long.
And don’t forget your lips: applying a moisturizing balm can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from getting chapped. If, however, your lip product causes a stinging or tingling sensation, try switching to a different product.
Such as Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balms, made with organic beeswax, provide a protective barrier to the elements without any synthetic ingredients. Organic jojoba, avocado and hemp oils help with extra moisturization. Fragrance free. Certified organic to USDA National Organic Program standards, because what you put on your lips goes into your body.
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up preferably using a cream or ointment in the winter, lotions are better in warmer, humid climates. Hand-washing is vital, especially during cold and flu season, but constant washing will cause the skin to be damaged.
Applying a hand cream after each washing can help, for example Lavera Neutral Hand Cream is a nourishing intensive hand cream especially formulated for very sensitive skin. This 100% natural hand cream uses a combination of organic evening primrose oil and organic shea butter to provide hydration and protection to sensitive skin. It is fragrance free to minimise irritation and has been tested on people with skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. It helps to gradually restore a healthier appearance in sensitive hands and prevents your hands from becoming dry thanks to formula rich in essential fatty acids. Parabens free.
On bright winter days, snow reflects the sun’s rays — up to 80 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation — increasing your risk of exposure. That means whether you’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s just as important to be applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer. And don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter, either. The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage.
Before you go outside, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body such as: Jason’s Mineral Based Natural Sunblock SPF 30 An all-mineral sun screen that is chemical and fragrance free, provides UVA and UVB protection and creates a natural barrier to protect skin against sun burn. The easy-to-rub in formula won’t leave a white film on skin like most mineral sun screens do and is hypoallergenic making it ideal for sensitive skin. It is also safer for use on babies over six months of age.
Many cold-weather fabrics can aggravate dry winter skin: we’ve all had to deal with itchy wool Christmas jumpers at one point or another, so it won’t be hard to believe that keeping that material from touching your skin will be beneficial and avoid irritations.
Instead, wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials directly against your skin, and then pull on your heavier, warmer sweaters. Be sure to protect your hands from cold winter air with gloves or mittens, remembering to choose a pair that won’t irritate your skin. If you prefer wool gloves, put on cotton or silk glove liners first. Wearing wet clothes and shoes can further irritate your skin and cause itchiness. If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.