Winter is a particularly difficult time of the year skin-wise. It is this time of the year when moisturizers come out with a vengeance because everyone and their mother has at least one dry patch of skin.
If you’re one of those people, congratulations, you are just like everyone else this time of the year! So how do you avoid those pesky winter skin conditions? We rounded up a list of tips and tricks to remedy that:
1. Avoid long, hot showers and baths.
Tempting as it may be, you want to skip the long showers and baths in the winter. The same goes for hot tubs. You may be wondering why that is. Well. hot water dries out your skin, which could increase the risk of developing psoriasis or eczema. The next time you step into the shower, opt for the coolest temperature you can manage. The cooler the water, the longer you can afford to stay under the water. If you must soak in a bath, add some oatmeal or moisturizing oil into the bath water. After you get out of the tub, dry yourself and apply an extra layer of moisturizer or two.
2. Use the right kind of moisturizer.
Not all moisturizers are created equal. Some are better at alleviating the winter itch. Lotions and creams that are water-based do not lock in moisture as effectively as oil-based moisturizers. Thicker moisturizers contain more oil, which can be better for extremely dry skin. If you can’t find a good cream or balm-type, many people simply use a few drops of oil and apply that directly. Also, it's important to not put too much moisturizer as your skin could get tacky. You don't want dirt and debris sticking to your face and causing breakouts.
3. Plug in your humidifier.
Dry air and heat are a recipe for dry skin. Just imagine the heater on full blast in your home and you forgetting to moisturize. Yikes! Can you say flakes everywhere? Plugging in a humidifier will solve this problem. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can also try putting a bowl near your heat source for a similar effect. Drinking adequate amounts of water is equally important, as this hydrates your skin from the inside.
4. Avoid alcohol.
Alcohol can be used in so many ways. It’s good for fuel, for cleaning and for the occasional indulgence. A nice glass of wine on a chilly winter night may sound like the ideal nightcap, but think again. Alcohol disrupts the water balance in the body and causes increased urination. Drinking more water to compensate for the loss is not enough, as the body can only retain so much water at one time. At the end of the night, if you have drunk copious amounts of alcohol, you can expect to be quite dehydrated the next day. It’s also part of the reason why people wake up with headaches after a night on the town—it’s actually mild dehydration.
5. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Just because it’s a winter wonderland outside doesn’t mean you can’t get burnt. The frigid temperatures have nothing to do with it. It’s actually the snow reflecting 85% of the sun’s harmful rays. Think of the white blanket of snow as a reflector of light. In the summer, there are not nearly enough white-colored objects around to reflect the light, unlike during the winter months. Dark gray stones will reflect less light than a driveway covered with a blanket of white snow, so don’t forget to put on your sunscreen. In fact, put it on more religiously to avoid sun damage and sunburns.