The change of seasons can be incredibly stressful on your skin, especially when going from warmer summer months to cold, windy drier winters. This transition almost always makes your skin look dull and older than it really is, but it can also spur flare-ups of skin conditions such as acne and eczema. One of the biggest mistakes people make with the change of seasons is they continue with their “usual” skin care routine, if they are even sticking to one in the first place. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make to fight the stress of cold weather.
Colder temperatures mean a drop in humidity (I sleep with a humidifier in my room both in Denver and Vail during the winter) taking moisture not only out of the air, but also out of your skin. While staples like a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water are crucial for healthy skin, making a few skincare changes and adopting a handful of new habits can help manage the discomfort of Dry Skin Season and keep your skin feeling silky smooth year round. Here’s my quick hit of easy skin care tips for cold weather:
1. EAT WHATS IN SEASON.
The best high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables in their peak season right now. My favorites are cranberries, blueberries, pumpkin, pomegranate and squash. These foods will help feed your skin from the inside out and keep it looking plump and moist.
If stubborn dry skin is causing extreme discomfort, seek out professional advice. A dermatologist can examine your skin and create a customized skin care routine. In certain cases, extremely dry skin can be an indicator of a larger medical issue, such as diabetes or an under active thyroid. Work with a health care professional to determine a more specified treatment plan.
2. DON’T CRANK UP THE HEAT.
I am the WORST at this…..the minute I have a little chill I run to the thermastat and set it at “tropical”. Turning up the heat indoors seems like a natural response to chilly winter weather, but raising the thermostat indoors dries the air, and skin out even more. The result is dry, flaky skin that is itchy and uncomfortable. Unless of course, you were a smart cookie and put in a home humidifier when you went through your last hot, dry winter. Something to consider with your next improvement.
3. IT’S NOT JUST FOR CHEST COLDS.
To remedy a dry home, bring in a humidifier and set humidity level between 45% and 55% to infuse the air with enough moisture for you skin to reap the benefits.
4. TAKE QUICK WARM (NOT HOT) SHOWERS.
Again, I am the worst at “quick” “warm” showers or baths regardless of the time of year. Nothing better in my world than soaking in a “lobster” hot bubble bath with ice cold Bubbles!!! Whose with me here? A long hot shower may feel heavenly on cold mornings, but it strips out the water and natural oils in your skin, thus drying it out. Limit showers to 15-minutes or less, using warm water, rather than hot hot water. Just know I am NOT taking this advice…….no judgement if you chose to join me!
5. GET RID OF THE HORSE SOAP.
Deodorant and antibacterial soaps are especially harsh on your skin, compromising your skin’s natural moisture. Instead, opt for gentle soaps and cleansers like this one. This one is super gentle and smells SO good in warm water. It’s addictive.
6. THE MULTI-TASKER.
After showering, blot excess water off your body, instead of roughly rubbing your skin with a towel. Next, apply a body moisturizer while your skin is still damp. Use a formula that gently sloughs off dry, dead skin cells, while also locking in moisture. Look for a cream over a lotion in the winter and also check for ceramides on the ingredient list, which are naturally found in the skin’s outer layer, help to retain moisture and can help to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier I recommend: Amlactin Daily Cream.
7. GIVE THEM A BREAK.
Moisturize hands every time after washing. Trade in traditional hand sanitizer for a combination sanitizer that contains moisturizer or lotion. I find that in winter I get super dry hands and often have small cuts around my nails. Very painful and just downright annoying. A friend of mine shared a nail salon trick. Use nail glue to seal the cut until it heals….works every time. Genius!!! I keep one in my car, home and golf cart……just in case.
8. SHOW YOUR SOLE SOME LOVE.
Your regular body lotion may not be enough for your feet. Look for a thicker cream to penetrate rough, dry skin on feet. I like to slather mine in Aquaphor and wear socks overnight to soften if they are really a mess. Works quickly and feels great. Not the hottest thing to go to bed in BUT a girl has to do what a girl has to do!!!
9. GO EASY ON THE SANDPAPER.
Reduce the number of peels and masks to avoid irritating your skin. In winter time, I like to buy several “hydrating” masks at a time and use them either for travel on a plane or at home (or Vail) in a bubble bath. Very relaxing and great for a next day glow!
10. FREE EVERYTHING.
Avoid irritants often found in everyday products by selecting fragrance-free or dye-free options. Un-scented means there’s a masking scent and this is just another form of fragrance designed not to have a smell.
11. CHOOSE SOFTY CLOTHING.
Avoid putting on abrasive or irritating fabrics like wool or polyester directly against your skin, especially the neck. Stick to soft fabrics, such as cotton, especially if they are in direct contact with your skin. So many great things to chose from these days….we could shop forever, right?! Choose cotton, silk, cashmere or French Terry.
DOES YOUR SKIN DRY OUT IN COLD WEATHER? WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU USE? DO YOU USE ANYTHING WE’VE LISTED HERE TO COMBAT WINTER SKIN?