Winter is just around the corner, and once the temperature drops, most people start to experience cold weather skin conditions such as severe dryness and itching. Skin dryness becomes much more common as you age, with at least 75% of people over the age of 64 having dry skin. Apart from loss of moisture and flaking, more serious skin problems such as rosacea and cold hives also come with unique challenges that most people in the US have to contend with during the winter season. The good news is that most of these winter-related skin problems can be avoided by following a skincare routine tailored to the weather. With a bit of time, diligence, and the right products, you can have clear, hydrated, and healthy skin, even during the bitter cold months. Here are some simple hacks to winterize your skincare routine.
Switch To Richer Moisturizers And Lotions
A lightweight or gel moisturizer may feel nice and comfy on your skin during the hot summer months. But once it starts getting chilly, your skin may benefit from a richer formula. Creams made especially for cold weather can help your skin retain its moisture levels. Also, serums, essences, and masks formulated for very dry skin can help to avoid itching and flaking, especially if you have combination or dry skin. However, if you have oily skin, you may find that your complexion tends to be more balanced during winter. If you have this skin type, it may be best to just continue using your regular products and moisturize as needed.
Protect Your Pout With The Right Lip Balm
Your lips are more prone to peeling, chapping, and cracking during the winter season. This is why having a lip balm in your pocket or bag at all times is essential when it’s cold and snowing outside. The right formula will protect your lips and keep it soft and smooth, so don’t go for a tube of lip balm with a waxy or dry feel. Something that has more “slip” and is formulated with nourishing oils such as vitamin E, jojoba, coconut, or avocado will feel soothing on your lips. Shea butter is another ingredient that can improve dry and chapped lips, so look for these ingredients the next time you go shopping for lip balm.
If you wear lip color, consider switching from a matte formula to a satin or glossy one. Most matte lipsticks, lip tints, or lip paints are notorious for sapping the moisture out of lips. Mattes can also make flakes and peeling more noticeable. However, if you absolutely love your matte lipstick, you can prevent dryness by coating your lips with some lip balm first. Let it absorb for a few minutes before putting on your lip color.
Don’t Hesitate To Exfoliate
It may seem counterintuitive to exfoliate in wintertime, but doing so can actually help moisturizers and lotions to work better. By exfoliating, you’re removing the dead cells on top of your skin, so any product that you apply will be absorbed better. For a natural body scrub, you can make your own using ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. A DIY scrub made of granulated sugar or coffee grounds and coconut oil, or a blend of finely ground oatmeal, sugar, and olive oil can gently slough off dead skin cells while hydrating your skin at the same time. In the shower, work the scrub in an upwards-circular motion for best results. Rinse off, pat your skin dry, and follow with your favorite body lotion.
Keeping skin soft, healthy, and hydrated during the winter is just a matter of tweaking your current skincare and beauty routine to fit the season. Exfoliate and moisturize well to give your skin a radiant glow, and use products that are suited for your skin type for the best results. If severe dryness persists, or if you experience other skin conditions during the winter, consult a dermatologist.
Resources & Further Reading:
1. What to do about dry skin in winter, Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/what-to-do-about-dry-skin-in-winter
2. Winter Weather Skin Conditions: The Trifecta, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2011/12/21/winter-weather-skin-conditions-the-trifecta/
2. Lip Balm 101: What Exactly Are You Putting On Your Lips? Domino, https://www.domino.com/content/best-lip-balm-ingredients/
4. 3 Super-Simple DIY Body Scrubs For Your Next Saturday Crafternoon, Marie Claire, https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a18667704/diy-body-scrub/