8 Tips for Healthy Skin All Winter Long

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We’re just ten days out from the longest night of the year, and half the country is recovering from an unexpectedly snowy weekend. There couldn’t be a better time to start protecting your skin from the harsh effects of winter cold!

Why is winter such a rough time for skin? It all comes down to hydration. Hot air can hold more water vapor – think steamy summer humidity. As the atmosphere cools down in winter, it dries out, and when it comes into contact with your skin, it saps your moisture and leaves you flaky and cracking all over. Indoor heating can make it even worse, as it heats up dry air and makes it even hungrier for water.

But you’re not powerless! Here are 8 things you can do to keep your skin soft and supple.

1. Drink

No, not your favorite poison – just water! The best way to keep your skin hydrated is to carry a refillable bottle with you everywhere and just keep on emptying it. Experts recommend 2 liters a day (that’s about eight glasses). Bored with water? Add some flavor! But be careful of caffeine and alcohol – they may be liquids, but they’ll actually dehydrate you.

2. Wash gently

Hand-washing is a must for controlling germs during cold and flu season, but endless rounds of soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers are hard on your paws. Stock up on the alcohol-free variety or a wipe-off, soap-free cleanser. And for when you can’t avoid it, carry a mini bottle of hand lotion and apply some right after washing.

3. Exfoliate with care

Too many dead skin cells can clog your pores, but too few leaves your skin without its nature moisture sealant. So keep exfoliating, especially in tough areas that tend to flake, like the elbows and feet, but don’t overdo it. If you normally use a strong exfoliating cleanser, try switching to a gentler one for the season, with a smoother texture and lower concentration of exfoliant.

4. Easy on the hot water

The heat feels delicious when it’s chilly outside, but don’t let the sensation fool you. Hot water opens up your pores and leads to even more moisture loss once you leave the oasis of the shower. You’re better off with lukewarm or even cold water, and keep it as brief as possible.

5. Moisturize immediately

Lotions and oils don’t actually give your skin moisture – they just lock in the moisture it already has. That’s why it’s critical to slather them on generously right after you bathe, when your skin has just soaked up water. With every moment it just gets drier, so make lotion your number one priority after stepping out of the shower.

6. Cover up

To really cure those rough hands and feet, nothing beats a good moisturizer soak. Generously apply your favorite oil or lotion, wrap them up in saran wrap, and stick them in some snug socks and mittens. Keep them on while you watch your favorite show or even all night long, and you’ll find baby soft skin when you’re done.

7. Keep using sunscreen

Most of you may be covered, but your face is probably not! Don’t underestimate the power of the winter sun, especially in the snow – the extra reflection makes your risk of damage even higher. When you go out, use sunscreen and a lip protector with SPF to keep your face and kisser from burning.

8. Try a humidifier

If all else fails, consider investing in a humidifier for your home or office. It will make the air more comfortable not only for your skin, but for your nose and lungs as well.

’Tis the season for caring, so don’t forget to take care of yourself! For some real pampering, check out Become Medspa’s luxury skincare services and products.

Rob Taormina