When the temperatures start dropping and the cold winds are blowing, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on with our skin. That is, until we begin experiencing the unpleasant side effects-cracked skin, dryness, even the occasional eczema flare-up. However, there’s no reason to suffer-there are several easy steps you can take to relieve discomfort and even improve your winter skin care regimen.
Keep that skin moisturized.
You don’t need to run out and buy the most expensive moisturizer on the market-there are plenty of good inexpensive ones on the drugstore shelves. If you have sensitive skin, go for one with simple, hypoallergenic ingredients like Eucerin or one of the Neutrogena line. Avoid products with shea butter, as they may clog pores.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
Winter sun is just as damaging as summer sun, and if you engage in winter sports such as skiing you’re especially vulnerable. Make sure you apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes before outdoor activity with reapplications if you’re spending a lot of time outside. Sunglasses are useful both for eye protection, and (at least theoretically) can minimize squinting and consequential wrinkling around the eye.
Avoid overly long showers.
This isn’t to suggest that you ignore personal hygiene, but simply that an overlong shower may dry the skin. Try to keep it brief, and try to use cleansing products with built-in moisturizers.
Keep skin moist inside the home by using a humidifier.
Too much dry heat is, perhaps not surprisingly, drying to the skin. Running a humidifier at night may help with keeping the skin moist in those drier months of the year!
Try a retinol based product to reduce signs of skin damage (sun spots, fine lines).
Although a retinol may be drying at least initially, use over time may change the texture of the skin, improving its health and actually helping build collagen. Although the most effective are prescription products like Retin-A or Renova, there are over the counter brands that have the same effect over time. If you incorporate one into your skin regimen, make sure you use sunscreen, as these products make your skin more vulnerable to the sun. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, do not use retinoids at all. In recent years natural products have been gaining traction in popularity, natural skin care products aim to treat the skin with a natural approach, leaving the skin feel rejuvenated and hydrated.
By following these tips, you can reduce the uncomfortable effects of the winter cold and keep your skin healthy all year round. If all else fails, a trip to the dermatologist for a yearly skin check and skin care tips is always a good idea.