How to Prepare Your Skin for Harsh Winter Weather
Winter brings a lot of seasonal changes. The weather gets colder and drier, sunlight decreases every day, and harsh weather presents all kinds of challenges – and that means you have to prepare your everyday routine, your home, and even your car for winter. But there’s one other thing you might not think about that needs special care: your skin.
Just like your car needs snow tires and your home needs more heat, the arrival of winter means your skin needs some extra care. Winter can be incredibly hard on your skin. The air gets drier and your skin loses moisture, causing dryness, irritation, and other skin woes.
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But you don’t have to suffer from skin problems all season long. With the right preparations and a good skincare routine, you can keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and in good shape during the winter.
Hydrate From the Inside Out
The very first step you should take to hydrate your skin during the winter? Drink a lot of water.
Hydration starts inside the body. Although warm beverages like coffee and tea might sound much better when it’s cold outside, make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of water each day – 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women.
Keep water with you throughout the day to make drinking easier. Staying hydrated will help your body fight and try to prevent common winter skin issues like chapped lips, dry skin all over the body, and flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema.
Add Humidity into Your Home
The air itself becomes drier in winter. Winter weather makes humidity disappear – which might be great if you don’t like being hot. But it isn’t so great for your skin. Dry air will dry out your skin, stripping its moisture.
Prevent this from happening by adding moisture into the air on your own. You can use a humidifier at home to add moisture into your environment and surround your skin with what it needs most.
Stop Wearing Fragrances
Fragrances are integral in most beauty and skincare products. Your body wash, facial cleansers, lotions, and moisturizers likely all come in different fragrances. And while those scents are perfectly fine for warm weather, they can cause skin problems during the winter.
Fragrances can actually dry out your skin, stripping away important moisture that it needs. Swap out your strongly-scented lotion or favorite fragrant body wash for something unscented to reduce the amount of moisture your skin loses each day.
And fragrance can be found in some surprising sources. Laundry detergent and fabric softeners also contain fragrances – try to switch to an unscented version of these products during the winter so they aren’t as hard on your skin.
Switch from a Basic Shower Gel to a Moisturizing Cleanser
In addition to containing fragrance that might be drying for your skin, your usual body wash could also include other ingredients that aren’t helpful during the winter. However, certain types of body wash can actually increase moisture and help hydrate your skin every time you shower.
To help your body stay hydrated, you’ll want to switch from a shower gel to a moisturizing, or creamy, cleanser. Look for body washes that foam, contain oil, or are made with a thicker formula. These products are more likely to lock in moisture, helping your skin throughout the day.
Stop Using Lotion and Start Using a Cream
Along with switching up your shower gel, you should also change your lotion during the winter. Lotion is certainly hydrating for anyone’s skin. But with drier air, harsh weather, and changing temperatures, winter can leave your skin begging for more moisture.
So, you’ll need a thicker and heavier lotion to offer better hydration. It’s like wearing heavier, more protective clothing during the winter – an extra, thicker layer of lotion can make a big difference.
Thicker creams, like specialty moisturizing lotions or products designed to help combat dryness, often feature more moisturizing ingredients. For example, they may contain oil or special ointments that can benefit dry skin.
Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
Hot showers feel good when it’s freezing cold outside. And they seem like they can benefit your skin – a steamy shower can increase humidity in your bathroom and potentially throughout your home. But unfortunately, the very hot showers that warm you up can do more harm than good.
Showering in hot water strips your skin of moisture. It dries the skin out, which means you’ll compound the dryness if you don’t use moisturizing body wash and a thick lotion or moisturizer.
Instead, turn down the temperature and take quick lukewarm showers. The slightly cooler water won’t be as drying to your skin. Additionally, spending less time soaking up hot water in the shower can also be a big benefit. And don’t forget to keep the bathroom door closed to lock the humidity into the bathroom while you moisturize afterwards.
Prepare Your Skin Now for a Healthy Glow All Season Long
When winter arrives, you don’t have to sacrifice your skin. Although dry, irritated, and itchy skin is common during the coldest months of the year, it doesn’t have to affect you. But you do need to prepare by increasing the amount of moisture your skin gets each day, starting from the inside out.
To do this, make sure you have the right skincare products lined up for winter. Thicker moisturizers, deeply hydrating body and facial cleansers, and fragrance-free products can help your skin look and feel great.