Your Winter Skin Survival GuideWinter skin care essentials
During the winter, most people find that their skin gets drier. This is partly
due to the winter weather - cold air and winds dry out the skin. It is also
partly due to the things people do to cope with winter, such as turning up the
heat and taking hot baths or showers.
As soon as the temperature starts to drop in the fall, it's time to switch
to a winter skin care routine. Good winter skin care means changes to the way
you clean, moisturize and protect your skin, as well as to your diet, lifestyle
Bathing: It might seem that a nice hot bath would help keep your skin
moist. But hot water actually dries out the skin. Use lukewarm water instead.
Spending a long time in the bath or shower can also make your skin drier. Try
to limit yourself to about 10 minutes. And use a cleanser that is free of soap
and alcohol - soap, alcohol-based cleansers and bubble bath can make your skin
drier by removing the protective lipids or oils that help your skin hold onto
moisture. You may want to try using a bath or shower gel to help with dry skin.
Moisturizing: Moisturizing is a critical step in winter skin care. After
your bath or shower, pat your skin dry with a towel and apply moisturizer immediately.
This way, the moisturizer helps hold moisture in the skin. Moisturizer will
also help protect your skin from moisture loss during the day. The choice of
moisturizer will depend on your skin type. For more oily skin, an oil-free,
non-comedogenic (not causing blemishes) lotion can be used. For drier skin,
a cream, which contains more lipids or oils and moisturizing agents, is a good
choice. Some areas of the skin, such as hands, feet, elbows, nose and lips,
are more prone to dryness and may need extra attention. Carry around a small
tube of moisturizer and lip balm to give a quick moisture boost throughout the
At home: Although cold air dries the skin, the hot dry air that comes
from indoor heating can also be a culprit. If you don't have a climate meter
(a device that tells you what the temperature and humidity is in your home),
consider getting one. If your home is dry, you may want to invest in a humidifier.
If this is not an option, you can also try boiling some water or putting a pot
of water on the radiator to increase the moisture in the air.
Lifestyle: The healthier you are, the healthier your skin will be. In
the winter, you may not feel as thirsty, but you still need plenty of water
each day to stay hydrated. Keep a "drinking water cup" nearby at home
and work to help you get enough fluid. You will need to drink water throughout
the day, not just at meals. Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits
and vegetables as well as non-saturated fats (such as fish oils). Other lifestyle
changes that will help your skin include quitting smoking, limiting your use
of alcohol, and getting aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes per day most
days of the week.