How to Heal Your Dry Winter Skin

Unpopular opinion: winter has always been my favorite season. It may be the Wisconsin girl in me talking, but I'd much rather trek through the snow toting a hot coffee and watching snow glitter in the sun than try to accomplish anything when it's above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Like all other things in life, nothing is perfect. I have struggled with dry winter skin for years that cracks and hurts each season. Luckily, I have also learned helpful tricks to help keep my skin healthy.

1. Moisturize. All day. Every day.

When I say all day, I mean all day. Pile on the lotion in the morning, at night, before you go outside, after you come inside, after washing your hands, while studying and any other chance you get. So many activities you perform each day strip the oil from your skin, so constantly keeping it moisturized is going to be your best protection to help create a barrier between your skin and the cold. Keep bottles of lotion all over your living space and carry a small hand cream in your purse and backpack so you'll never have to go without. If you don't see much of an improvement with lotion, try a heavier formula, like a cream or body butter.

2. Don't neglect your face

The skin on your face is highly sensitive, so blistering winds and chilly temperatures can really take a toll. Apply a good moisturizer in the morning and at night and apply a hydrating face mask throughout the week -- even if you have oily skin. If you find that certain areas of your face are especially susceptible to losing moisture, apply facial oil and concentrate on those areas.

3. Keep your lips conditioned

Your lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your face, so paying careful attention to them can help prevent them from getting dry and cracking. Consistently applying lip balm throughout the day will help keep them protected. Buy lipsticks with moisturizing ingredients. Even some matte lipsticks contain healthy oils and moisturizers to keep your lips soft.

4. Make the most of your humidifier

In the winter, the air tends to be drier, which can suck the moisture out of your skin. Using a humidifier can help add some of that moisture back into the air. Personally, this is one of my favorite tricks and has saved me a lot of pain. You can find reasonably priced humidifiers online and at the store and many humidifiers allow you to add your own essential oils to them.

5. Help your hair

Like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp needs some extra love too. Opt for a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to give your scalp and hair the extra kick of nourishment it needs. Try using a hair mask once each week for a boost of moisture. Find the right hair mask for your hair type with this guide.

6. Use common household remedies

That years old remedy your grandma loves may actually work for you. If your hands are cracked, slather on some petroleum jelly and put on gloves before heading to bed. If your face feels dry and tight, using honey as a face mask adds moisture back to your face. Simply apply a thin layer, leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse it off. When in doubt, break out your jar of coconut oil or bottle of olive oil. Both of these can be used on your skin, hair, face and lips. It seems that the most common solutions often work the best.

7. Drink water

The last thing you want to do after walking to class in freezing temperatures and blistering winds is chug a glass of ice cold water, but the extra hydration will help. If you struggle to drink enough water or need to hold something warm on the way to class, try different teas. If you love lemon infused water, heat up the water before adding the lemons.

No one likes dealing with dry winter skin, so try out some remedies to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.