We love the change of seasons and the cooling weather, but it’s definitely not the best time of the year for your skin. The cold weather ahead is bound to leave your skin dry and itchy. Moving from your warm house or apartment to the cold outside, and then to an overheated office is bound to leave your skin worse for the wear. Not to mention that what you’re wearing to keep warm can also be wreaking havoc on your poor, over-dried skin. Here’s your survival guide for the months ahead.
1. Be mindful of your shower time
Everyone loves a nice, hot shower, but it can be bad for your skin. “Shower for too long and you’ll remove important oils from your skin,” dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto told FashionBeans. Mahto recommends keeping your shower short and warm. It’s best to start the day by giving your skin a fighting chance by not over drying it. While you’re in there, try to avoid using soap, which can actually be your worst enemy not only during the normal months of the year, but also during the winter months.
“Products containing soap and fragrance can also strip oils from the skin,” Mahto said. “As a general rule, the nicer it smells, the more irritant it’s likely to contain.” So keep your showers shorter and less hot. You’ll also want to go for the gentlest body wash or soap you can find. Skip the stuff with added fragrance to avoid further irritation.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize
As the weather conditions change, so too should your skin care routine. WebMD recommends finding an ointment moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based because the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that will be able to retain more moisture than a cream or lotion. Just make sure you’re choosing oils that won’t clog pores, such as avocado oil, almond oil, or primrose oil. Now for some specifics.
Body: For your body, Men’s Fitness recommends trying a cooling body lotion, which can take away any kind of pain you have from scratching your poor skin.
Face: The same story from FashionBeans recommends almond oil to combat dryness and minimize any redness.
Hands and feet: It’s not all about your face. Your feet and hands need some love, too. “These are such neglected areas,” says Mahto told FashionBeans. “Use a pumice stone on your feet and apply a cream afterwards. And carry a small hand cream with you if you don’t have good cotton gloves.”
3. When you’re going outside, don’t forget the SPF
Sunscreen is not just meant for the summertime; it’s meant to be worn all year round and, in fact, helps to avoid dry skin during the harsh winter months. The Huffington Post says reflection from the snow can actually make the sun’s ray’s more intense. This means you need some form of sunscreen every day. And don’t forget about your lips, which are also prone to sun damage. Look for a lip balm that contains SPF 15 more more.
4. Avoid wool
You might not realize this, but one of the biggest culprits of dry skin during the winter is the fabrics of your clothing, particularly wool. Though this fabric is known for being super warm, the itch factor is a serious problem. The Stir explains the scratchy fabric can make dry, itchy skin even worse. Stick with cotton and dress in layers to stay toasty.
5. Don’t wear wet gloves or socks
One more winter faux pas to avoid, especially when the weather turns snowy, is wearing wet socks and gloves. They can irritate your skin causing itching, cracking, sores, and even an eczema flare-up, says WebMD. Make sure you get a good pair of water resistant winter boots and avoid snowball fights.