Winter skin care tips are of utmost importance to anyone looking to see through the harsh, cold weather with their skin unharmed. While we all love a stroll in the cool winter air, it comes at a price of—skin damage.
Cold air with its low humidity and moisture makes the skin dry and flaky. Exposure to this cold air, along with indoor heating, depletes the skin of moisture and makes it drier and itchier.
Follow these tips to protect your skin this winter:
The cold air depletes the skin of moisture. Therefore, moisturizing often is the key to keeping the skin hydrated and soft. Instead of lotions, cream-based and petroleum-based products are better for normal to dry skin. It’s best to apply moisturizer on slightly damp skin as it traps the surface moisture. Even people with oily skin should use a light unscented moisturizer.
2. Don’t use soaps
Harsh soaps have chemicals that irritate the skin and dry it out. To keep dryness at bay, soaps with gentle, non-scented ingredients should be used. Alternatively, non-soap cleansers can be used to wash the skin. Washing the face, hands, and feet once a day is sufficient, as too much washing removes the natural moisture barrier of the skin.
3. Limit time in hot water
For people experiencing the ‘winter itch,’ it is best to avoid hot water. Instead, lukewarm water is better for washing up and showering.
4. Use a humidifier
Dry air pulls the moisture from the skin and this is compounded by indoor heating. Room humidifiers are therefore good for the skin in the winters. They are devices that add moisture to the air and prevent the skin from drying up due to indoor heating.
5. Protect your skin from the sun
Winters may mean darker days, but the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation can still penetrate the clouds to cause damage to the skin. Therefore, a sunblock with an SPF of at least 15 should be applied before heading outdoors. Exposure to UV radiation contributes to skin damage, risk of cancer, and photoaging.
6. Protect your skin from the cold air
If you are in the open, protect the skin and lips, from the cold air by covering up or using a good moisturizer. Skin protectants based on petroleum or ceramides are effective in preventing dryness.
7. Layer cautiously
In the winter, skin is irritated more easily. It is better to layer with soft material next to the skin—for instance, cotton or silk—and steer clear of harsh fabric like wool. Wool can be layered on top of these fabrics for warmth. For laundering, it’s best to choose detergents labeled ‘hypoallergenic’ as well.
8. Protect your lips
Like the skin, the lips need protection from the harsh elements. During the winters, select a lip balm or moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher to soothe your lips and prevent them from drying and cracking. A good option can be a petroleum-based lip balm.
9. Don’t stay too close to heat
While curling up close to the heater is the classic way to get warm on a cold day, it is the surest way to dry out the skin. For individuals with dry skin, it can worsen the condition and even cause dry patches to appear. It’s best, therefore, to limit the time in front of the heater and layer up with warm clothing instead.
10. See your dermatologist
Skincare concerns like acne, scaling, eczema, psoriasis, skin growths, and rashes can worsen during the winters. Winter skin care tips can only help you to a certain extent. For persistent skin concerns, it is best to seek the help of an expert dermatologist.
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