Our skin, being the largest organ of the body, requires a ton of maintenance to keep it looking fresh throughout the year. And with winter finally here, you and I both know that trying to maintain smooth skin is an uphill battle.
So, during the winter, proper skincare is non-negotiable. Dry skin is uncomfortable, makes you irritable, and can leave you looking red and ashy after a few scritch-scratches. Sadly, this is a reality that many of us have to live with throughout the grueling, frigid wintry months. Or is it?
In this article, we’ll share with you 5 tips on how to keep your skin from drying out in wintry air.
1 | Moisturize Regularly
Moisturizing is essential, especially for those with naturally dry skin. However, the cold winter air can leave even oily skin as dry as a bone, so it’s important that you moisturize regularly. Moisturizers don’t just rehydrate the surface of your skin, but they also lock moisture in. ideally, you should moisturize after washing your hands and face—heck, do it after taking a shower!
After a hot shower, lightly dry off before applying a healthy glop of moisturizer all over your body. The steam of a hot shower will open up your pores, allowing more moisturizer to seep in and keep you thoroughly moistened up for longer.
However, there are moisturizers out there that can cause adverse effects—i.e., dry you out after a few hours. Avoid using such moisturizers, especially the scented varieties, and keep a travel-size bottle of moisturizer on hand whenever you go out.
2 | Keep a Humidifier in Your Bedroom
If you’re anything like me, you probably crank the thermostat to dangerously hot levels during the winter. After all, it’s bad enough dealing with the frosty chill of outdoor air, and it would be nice if we came home to a toasty environment the moment we step foot indoors, right?
However, that’s how winter tricks you into drying yourself out! The increase in indoor temperature will evaporate skin moisture, which could leave your skin drier than it would be if you went outside. Thankfully, there’s a simple device that can help you maintain proper indoor humidity.
Ever heard of a humidifier? It’s a compact device that shoots mist into the air, thereby increasing indoor relative humidity. The ideal relative humidity is around 50%, but in the winter, your indoor air can drop to as low as 20 or even 15%! A humidifier remedies this problem by blasting a constant stream of mist into the air that moisturizes your skin and your airways.
Consider leaving your humidifier on all night. The excess moisture in a room can leave you feeling warmer, and you won’t have to crank your heater on as high at nighttime! It’s a win-win for your skin and your electricity bill!
3 | Go Easy on Hot Showers and Baths
Earlier, we said that you should moisturize after taking long hot showers. However, did you know that taking long hot showers can actually contribute to dry skin?
Hot water can actually deteriorate your outer-most layer of skin, which can affect how well your skin maintains moisture. That’s why I recommend limiting your showers to ten minutes at most! And after taking a shower, let your body air-dry instead of rubbing it vigorously with a towel. When your body is only slightly damp, that’s when you should apply generous amounts of moisturizer from face to toe.
In addition, during the wintertime, you should swap out light moisturizers for heavier ones since they have longer-lasting effects. You’ll need every bit of it to ensure that the moisturizing effects stay on and in your skin rather than dissipate from exposure to the freezing air.
4 | Switch Up Your Beauty Routine
Every season is different, and as such, you should switch up your beauty routine as the seasons change. During the winter, you should be more mindful of what your skincare routine consists of.
For instance, get rid of products that contain alcohol, additives, and fragrances until the snow thaws. These ingredients are drying by nature and could potentially strip away your natural oils. Also, they can cause damage to your skin, which, in turn, makes it more difficult for other makeup products—e.g., toners and serums—to take effect. Essentially, in the wintertime, keep your skincare routine simple.
The use of moisturizers, cleansers, and sunscreen should suffice. However, if you feel like you absolutely have to use other products, make sure they don't contain any harsh active ingredients.
5 | Use Sunscreen!
Wait, what? Why would you need sunscreen in the winter? Don’t we only apply sunscreen on our skin when we’re going out to the beach to soak up the sun rays? The last time we heard, nobody goes to beaches in the winter to get a tan.
The fact of the matter is that the sun doesn’t care what season it is. From winter to summer, it’ll pour its UV rays on all of us, potentially causing irreparable damage to our skin. Excessive sun exposure can result in stress to the epidermis, which can affect your overall skin health.
That’s why you should keep a bottle of sunscreen on you at all times. Don’t fall for the myth that sunscreen only works in the summer—you’ll need it whenever you go outdoors in the daytime, regardless of what season it is!
As you can see, maintaining proper hydration in the wintertime is a challenge, but it’s completely achievable if you have the right beauty and lifestyle tools on hand. Remember: as long as you moisturize religiously, get a humidifier, and switch up your beauty routine for a winter-friendly one, as well as wear plenty of sunscreen during the day, you can keep your skin from drying up this holiday season.