Winter is coming and you might be starting to feel the chill from head to toe. While your daily wardrobe transforms from sundresses to sweaters, it’s also time to give your skin a much-needed routine revival to enter the winter season protected and ready to face those harsh, drying conditions.
Here are some tips to keep your skin healthy throughout the winter months so you can blossom next season with a healthy, springtime glow. While you can do much preparation at home, it’s always best to start by consulting with a licensed, board-certified dermatologist who can tailor a regimen for your specific skin type and conditions.
Invest in a humidifier to keep your skin moist.
One of the most common issues during winter is dryness. A humidifier can bring some moisture back into your home to keep your skin hydrated throughout winter. Place it in rooms where you spend a significant amount of time, like your living room and bedroom.
Lower the temperature.
Although it’s tempting to want to feel nice and toasty all day long, the heater in your home can increase dryness significantly. Lowering the temperature and reducing the amount of time the heater is on can help mitigate this issue. Try keeping the temperature at a cool, but comfortable range between 68 and 72 degrees. Opt for wearing a sweater and socks if you’re feeling chilly rather than pumping up the thermostat.
Avoid showers that are too hot and too long.
We know you love a good soak, but this can actually dry out your skin. Your skin will thank you for taking a 5-to-10-minute lukewarm shower versus a 45-minute blistering hot steam session. An easy way to tell if a shower is too hot is simply to look at your skin. If your shoulders begin to turn red, then the temperature is set too high.
Use gentle cleansers and products.
Since our skin tends to be more sensitive during the winter months due to the increased dryness, it’s best to opt for cleansers and skincare products that are ultra-gentle on your skin. Look for products that are fragrance free, moisturizing and won’t strip away the natural barrier of the skin.
Be sure to moisturize often.
This goes without saying. While you should moisturize your skin on a regular basis, this becomes especially important during winter when your skin is vulnerable to dryness. You might want to swap your regular lotion for a thicker cream or body butter. Applying a thick moisturizer as soon as you get out of the bath or shower will lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling nice and smooth. Using products with ceramides, glycerin and hyaluronic acid can help to bring hydration back to the skin while repairing and protecting the skin’s barrier during the harsh winter months. Remember, don’t skip a day of moisturizing. Your skincare routine will only be effective if performed religiously.
Avoid licking your lips!
Your lips can become incredibly sensitive during winter, especially as they get dry and begin to chap. Although it might feel like it helps for the moment, licking your lips when they are sore will only exacerbate the dryness and make the soreness worse. If your lips are already chapped, avoid acidic foods like citrus or tomatoes that may irritate them further. Apply a chap stick or lip balm that contains an SPF for added protection and relief.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
Sunscreen, especially on the face, is something that is far too often forgotten. You might think that sunscreen is not necessary on a cloudy day, but harmful UV rays can penetrate the clouds and cause damage to your skin no matter the weather.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow can reflect the rays up to 80 percent, increasing your risk of dangerous sun exposure. If you are heading out to the slopes, don’t forget that you’ll be outside in the sun all day, so it’s important to treat your skin as if you were at the beach. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect yourself from sun damage.
With these tips in hand for the winter season, you can effectively winterize your skin and stay healthy as the weather gets cooler. For any other dermatological questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Buckhead Dermatology of Atlanta and College Park. Our staff will help you develop a tailored skincare plan to address problem areas while keeping your skin healthy and looking its best.