Taking good care of your skin can be pretty tough, and cold weather doesn’t make it any easier. For many reasons, dry and irritated skin is pretty common when the temperature drops significantly. As a victim of severe eczema and extremely sensitive skin that are both especially triggered by cold weather, I’ve learned this the hard way. No matter what your skin type is, here are five general tips to keep your epidermis healthy as we approach this winter.
- Cleanse & Moisturize
This is one of the most important steps you can take in your skincare routine. You can survive a cold winter without fancy skincare products like toners or serums, but you absolutely need a cleanser and a moisturizer. My #1 recommendation with both of these is keeping a close eye on the ingredients. Most importantly, you want to keep things fragrance-free (which, btw, isn’t the same as unscented!). Leaving your skin free of harsh chemicals is key. You also want to look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like colloidal oatmeal. This particular ingredient reduces redness and retains moisture extremely well.
- A Humidifier Is Your Bestie
A drop in outdoor temperature usually means a spike in indoor temperature, which leads to a pretty dry environment. This is where a humidifier comes in clutch. It’s super duper important to keep the air inside of your room moist to avoid overdrying the skin. This is especially relevant now that we’re stuck at home even more than the usual winters, due to the pandemic (which is still going on btw… wear a mask). The decision to invest in a humidifier is a personal one, but do know that there are many affordable options out there, and it is absolutely worth it in the long run.
- Short, Lukewarm Showers
I’d be lying if I said it isn’t tempting to take a long, hot shower when it’s cold out. I’d also be lying if I said I haven’t done it a million times before. I get it, trust me, but it does far more harm than good. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to take a cold shower. Just keep it neutral. Overly hot water irritates the skin and can be pretty damaging. Besides paying attention to the water’s temperature, make sure you’re keeping your showers short and sweet (5-10 mins). Not only does this protect your skin, but also avoids water waste. Win-win if you ask me.
- Choose Clothes Wisely
Dressing warm is critical, but the type of clothes you wear also matters. Try to avoid itchy sweaters that often lead to irritation. Look for soft clothing during the winter. My personal fave is anything sherpa (especially from Aerie!). Another thing people tend to forget is that your coat and hat aren’t your ONLY friends. Your face and hands are two of the most prone areas for overdrying. Keep a scarf around your neck where you can pull it up to cover your face, and wear some warm gloves to protect your hands. These are two simple and common ways of keeping your skin healthy amidst the harsh cold winds. Lastly, if you go inside after walking in the rain or snow, change out of your clothes ASAP. You don’t want to keep wet, cold clothes on any longer than you need to.
- Get That H2O
This last tip is one we all tend to forget. Hydrate! It’s easy to let this one get past us since we’re a lot thirstier during the summer when it’s hot and we’re often sweating, but keeping track of your water intake is so so important. Besides being necessary for all of your day to day bodily functions, drinking water is essential for keeping your skin hydrated. It reduces redness, maintains your pH balance, protects your moisture barrier (which is heavily threatened by cold weather), among many other health benefits. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Like I said, skincare can be tough, but hopefully these tips will come in handy as we fight the cold winter weather this year. Moisturize, hydrate, and take good care of yourself and your skin will thank you!