No matter your typical skin type, you may notice significant changes in the look and feel of your skin as the cold, dry air approaches. Establishing a cold weather skin care routine can help you keep your skin hydrated and reduce the likelihood of irritation.
Keep Bathing Simple
When it is cold, you may immediately want to indulge in a hot shower or bath. Unfortunately, hot water is the last thing you want on your skin. Hot water can exacerbate dry skin since it allows moisture to escape. If you must have a hot shower, keep the heat to a minimum and finish your shower or bath by rinsing with lukewarm water. This will help your skin retain as much moisture as possible.
The best time to apply moisturizers is while your skin is still damp. When possible, leave the thin, water-based moisturizers for your face and use a thicker moisturizer for your body. Many people use body butters immediately after bathing because they work well at helping your skin retain moisture. When applied in small amounts, shea and cocoa butter will leave your skin with a silky feel, without feeling greasy.
Check your body products to make sure a humectant is not high on the ingredient list. Some humectants include glycerin and honey. Humectants work well for attracting moisture and are frequently found in hair and body products. However, this tactic only works if there is adequate moisture in the environment. Otherwise, some humectants will do the opposite and pull moisture away from your body toward the drier air. If you feel like your favorite skin care products is drying in the winter, this could be the underlying problem.
The addition of a small humidifier in your bedroom can dramatically improve your skin throughout the winter. Your heating system can contribute to making the air inside your home drier. If you are using a humidifier, you may want to use your humectant-rich products as part of your nighttime routine. While you sleep, your skin care products can help you absorb the ambient moisture.
Heal Your Skin
Some common areas to experience cracking and skin irritation are your lips, elbows, knees, and heels. If these areas are prone to cracking, the easiest fix is to use petroleum jelly. Although there are many products on the market to help heal irritated skin, petroleum jelly typically does not burn irritated skin and the greasy texture helps to seal in moisture. This provides a barrier against debris or friction during the healing process.
Just massage a thin layer into the affected area before bed and cover with clothing. Although petroleum jelly is helpful for minor skin irritation, you may have episodes of significant cracking. Try products containing zinc oxide to help heal cracks. Zinc oxide can speed the healing of minor cracks and other skin abrasions.
Keeping your skin moisturized during the winter can be a challenge, even if you do not typically have dry skin. Adding moisture to your skin care routine and finding ways to retain moisture can keep your skin soft and healthy throughout the winter. For more information, consider checking with a professional like those at Advanced Dermatology Care.