Tips for Healthy Winter Skin
Combat dry skin and keep a healthy glow this holiday season with these winter skin tips.
8 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin
1. Invest in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
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.
2. Lower the Thermostat to Avoid Dryness
When it's chilly outside, what's the first thing you want to do? Crank up the heat! But central heat can make the air in your house even drier. Try setting the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable setting, 68°F to 72°F to maintain healthy skin.
3. Limit Shower Time and Temperature
It may be tempting to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin will be much better served with a 5 to10 minute lukewarm shower or bath. You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands, if the water causes your skin to turn red, it’s too hot. 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.
4. Opt for Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The wrong soap can worsen itchy, dry skin. For instance, regular bar soaps may contain irritating ingredients and fragrances. Instead, wash with a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel. Look for products specifically labeled “fragrance-free,” because "unscented" products may actually contain fragrances. You can also prevent winter skin problems by using less soap overall, so limit your lathering to necessary areas, such as your hands, armpits, genitals, and feet.
5. Modify Your Facial Skincare Regimen
Don’t forget your lips. Applying a moisturizing balm or ointment can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from getting chapped. If your lip product causes a stinging or tingling sensation, try switching to a different product.
6. Moisturize Frequently, Especially Your Hands
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. It's best to use a cream or ointment in the winter. Lotions are better in warmer, humid climates. And don't forget your hands. Hand-washing is vital, especially during cold and flu season. But constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating.
Applying a hand cream after each washing can help, also wearing waterproof gloves when washing dishes or cleaning around the house.
7. Apply Sunscreen — Even on Cloudy Winter Days
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.
Don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter. 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 50 or higher to all exposed areas of your body.
8. Remember to Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. But for the most part, it is important to help the skin moisturize from the outside.
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