Winter can be tough on our skin. The low humidity in the air, along with the cold temperatures, can leave our skin feeling dry, flaky, and itchy. As a dermatologist, I often see an increase in patients with skin issues during the winter months. However, there are steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and glowing throughout the season. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some tips for winter skincare.
Tip 1: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
One of the first things to know about winter skincare is that it’s all about moisture. The cold, dry air can cause our skin to become dry and lose moisture quickly, so it’s essential to use a good quality moisturizer to keep it hydrated. Look for moisturizers with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides as they help retain moisture in the skin, keeping it soft and supple.
When choosing a moisturizer, opt for a thicker, more emollient formula than what you would use in the summer. If you have very dry skin, you may even want to use a heavier balm or ointment.
It’s also worth mentioning that the face isn’t the only part of our skin that needs moisture during winter – hands and feet take a beating, too. Wearing gloves and slathering on a rich hand cream can help protect and soothe dry, chapped hands, while applying a thick balm or cream to your feet and then putting on socks can help combat dry, cracked heels
Tip 2: Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
Even though it’s winter and the sun may not be shining as bright as it does in the summer, is it still important to wear sunscreen. UV rays can still damage our skin during winter, and the snow reflects the sun’s rays, making it even more important to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure to reapply it every two hours if you’re spending time outside. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, and hands.
Tip 3: Avoid Hot Showers
It’s tempting to take a nice, hot shower on a cold day, but doing so can actually strip your skin of its natural oils. Hot water can damage the skin’s barrier, making it more prone to dryness and irritation. Instead, try taking a lukewarm shower or bath and limiting the time you spend in the water to 10 minutes or less.
After your shower, make sure to pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing it. Then, while your skin is still slightly damp, apply a moisturizer to help lock in the moisture.
Tip 4: Use Humidifiers
As mentioned earlier, winter air is typically dry, which can have a negative impact on the skin. Adding moisture back into the air through the use of a humidifier is a simple yet effective way of keeping your skin hydrated.
Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air and increasing the humidity levels in your home, keeping your skin and mucous membranes from getting too dry. They’re particularly helpful for people with respiratory issues, but can also help keep skin from drying out.
Tip 5: Exfoliate Gently
Exfoliating your skin can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, but it’s important to do so gently during the winter months. Too much exfoliation or using harsh scrubs can damage the skin’s barrier, leading to dryness and irritation.
Instead, opt for a gentle exfoliator, such as a product with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), which will help remove dead skin cells without being too abrasive.
Tip 6: Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health, but it’s particularly important during winter months. When we’re dehydrated, our skin can become dry and dull-looking. Drinking enough water can help keep our skin hydrated and looking healthy.
It’s also a good idea to swap out your caffeine or alcohol-heavy drinks for water or herbal teas during winter. Caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate us, making it more difficult to keep our skin looking its best.
Winter skincare requires a little extra effort than the rest of the year. With the right routine, you can keep your skin healthy and moisturized throughout the colder months. Remember, moisturize regularly, wear sunscreen, avoid hot showers, use humidifiers, exfoliate gently, and stay hydrated. If you’re having any persistent skin issues or concerns, it’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment. Stay warm and healthy this winter!