There’s a lot to love about the colder seasons ahead. From the vibrant colors of changing leaves in the fall to the scent of cinnamon wafting from a cozy kitchen in winter, it’s a time of year that delights the senses and makes us feel content cozied up on the couch at home.
However, these seasons also are filled with dry, cold air and moisture-sucking heaters that can wreak havoc on our skin. It’s important to take action as soon as the first leaves drop to avoid waking up to flaky, tight skin that you can barely tolerate. Even if you have a foolproof skincare regimen for spring and summer, it will probably need some tweaks in winter to adapt to the climate change. Use these tips to avoid extreme skin cracking, itching or eczema (red, dry, itchy spots on your skin) while you enjoy the chilliest part of the year!
- Go heavy-duty on the moisturizer
A water-based moisturizer may work just fine in the warmer months. But, for fall and winter, you will want to use an oil-based lotion. The oil will create a protective barrier over the skin that water-based lotions will not. Not all oils are created equal. To avoid clogging pores, find a lotion that contains primrose, avocado, mineral or almond oil. If your skin isn’t prone to breakouts, you could also try a shea-butter moisturizer, which can work wonders for dry skin.
- Sunscreen isn’t just for summer
It may not be warm, but the sun is still there. It is just as important to put on sunscreen in the winter to avoid sun damage and premature aging. This is especially true if you are in high altitudes closer to the sun or surrounded by snow where sun glare can occur.
- Avoid super hot showers and baths
It may feel amazing to soak in a steamy bath or shower when it is chilly outside. However, hot water can strip moisture from your skin, as well as your hair! Instead, take a lukewarm shower or bath. To amp up your moisturizing, add olive or grapeseed oil to your soak or apply it on your skin after.
- Hook up the humidifier
Heaters can increase dryness in your skin. However, in the cold months, turning up the thermostat can be necessary. To combat the effects of your heating system, plug in a humidifier. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and save your skin from consequences of central heating systems.
- Fill up on omega-3s
Foods like salmon, avocados, walnuts, flax and olive oil can combat dry skin. The healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in these foods moisturize your skin from the inside out. Not a fan of these foods? Try taking an omega-3 supplement daily with meals.
- More reason to love vitamin C
Make citrus fruit and dark leafy greens a staple in your diet. Foods high in vitamin C help boost your collagen production, which is a protein that helps maintain healthy skin.
- Keep your lips supple, too!
Don’t forget about your lips! Chapped lips can be painful and embarrassing. Invest in an effective lip-balm to help sooth and prevent cracked, dry lips. If this isn’t enough, you can apply honey, coconut oil or Vaseline to your lips. Think of it like a moisture mask for your pucker.
- Use a DIY, all-natural face mask
When a moisturizer just doesn’t cut it, a face mask can be your savior. Create a DIY face mask from bananas, avocados, milk and egg yolk. It may not sound very appetizing but it’s effective!
- Trade in your peels and harsh cleansers
Minimize the amount of face peels, clay-based masks, face cleansers and toners containing alcohol during winter. These products can strip your skin of essential oils, making you more prone to dryness. Instead, use a cleansing milk, moisturizing cleanser and alcohol-free toners and moisturizing masks.
- Talk to a professional
If you continue to suffer from dry skin, go to an expert. A dermatologist can help you find the proper products and rituals to bring your skin back to normal.