I just love what winter does for my skin … said no person ever.
Gone are the days of sweating it out in the sun and humidity. Once you’ve traded in your bathing suit for a parka, you also need to trade in your summer skin regimen for a winter-appropriate routine. Negative temperatures, cold winds, dry air and central heating can take a serious toll on your skin’s health. The most common winter woes for skin are dryness, itching and cracking. What you may not know is that there is a multitude of other misfortunes that can claim your skin this winter, such as breakouts, windburn and sunburn. Yes, you read that right—sunburn.
So if you’re still braving the cold to get in your five mile walk or you just came in from a ritual snowball fight, make sure to pay special attention to your skin this winter by following our tips for defeating your winter skin woes.
Problem(s): Dryness, redness and cracking
Skin can become so dry that it feels tight, cracks and becomes enflamed.
Solution: More moisturizer … yes, we said more. Even if you’re already applying a daily moisturizer, the winter wind requires more frequent application and sometimes a stronger type. If you’re worried that moisturizing more will make your already greasy skin a nightmare, try a gel moisturizes for those with oily skin. Wear gloves every time you’re outside, use a humidifier at home to counter the dryness of the heater and also avoid wearing wet clothes (gloves and socks) for long periods. When you finish building the perfect snowman, come inside and change immediately
The natural oils in your hands are gone due to the dry, cold air, which leads to itching.
Solution: Avoid scratching to prevent red, irritated skin. If the itching from your dry skin is too intense not to scratch, try using an anti-itch cream like you would use on a bug bite or a soothing skin-cooling cream with aloe.
We know it’s not what you wanted to hear, but taking long, hot baths after coming in from the cold can break down the lipid barriers in the skin and cause a loss of moisture. Using warm instead of scalding water and staying in the shower for a shorter amount of time is actually better for your skin. Try adding baking soda to a warm bath to prevent dryness and soothe itching.
When people think about acne and breakouts, their minds immediately jump to oily skin as the culprit. However, dry skin can cause breakouts too. Dead skin cells, makeup and dirt can clog your pores just like oil. Oftentimes we get caught up in moisturizing to avoid dry skin and forget to exfoliate during the winter months.
Solution: Exfoliating regularly is important to rid our faces of dead skin cells and dirt that cause breakouts. Avoid harsh peels and facial masks (especially anything alcohol-based like toner and astringents for acne prevention) that will dry you out. Just like in the summer, staying hydrated is good for your skin year-round and can also help prevent breakouts.
Despite popular belief, you should be wearing sunscreen year-round. Snow and ice reflect the sun’s rays, and it is as easy to get sunburned in the winter as it is the summer.
Solution: Even if you’re bundled up in layers to keep the cold at bay, all of your exposed skin should be sporting a layer ofBrush On Block! You should also be wearing a lip balm with SPF.
The wind depletes your skin of natural oils and can cause peeling and redness.
Solution: Keep your skin covered as much as possible with toboggans, scarves and gloves. Also use a sunscreen with moisturizing properties like Brush On Block, which restores natural minerals to your skin and contains green tea leaf extract and safflower seed oil to moisturize while it protects.