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How to Keep Your Skin Healthy Through The Winter

With winter fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of the holiday season. Besides thinking about gift-giving and meet-ups, it’s important to carve out time in your day to take care of yourself. The cold weather is a good change from summer’s intense heat but is often the hardest season to maintain your skin through. We often get so busy over the holidays that our skin drops lower on our list of priorities, and with winter clothes, it’s easy to forget about maintaining a good winter skincare routine. 

The best thing you can do for your skin is to moisturize it every day. Moisturizing once within 5-10 minutes of showering will help seal in the water from your shower. I usually moisturize my hands an extra once or twice on especially windy or cold days. It’s important to wash your face right before going to bed, and moisturizing then will prevent your skin from drying out in the night. However, don’t wash your face or hands too many times because this will dry out your skin and can even contribute to acne formation. In terms of moisturizers, a non-scented formula with limited chemicals will keep your skin from becoming red and itchy. 

Although many people may not think of it, sunscreen is still so important to use in the winter. Just because it isn’t sunny or hot outside doesn’t mean that UV rays aren’t in the sky. In fact, the UV A type of rays are present year-round and are, in part, responsible for the wrinkles and dark spots that form as a result of aging. Put on sunscreen before you got out, and reapply every few hours if you are staying out. It’s even good to wear sunscreen if you are going to be in a car because car windows don’t usually protect from all of the UV radiation in the sky.

Personally, the hardest part of maintaining healthy skin for me is staying hydrated. While you’re likely to get less thirsty during the winter, you still need to drink the same amount of water as you do during the rest of the year to not become dehydrated. In addition to drinking water, I try to diversify my hydration by drinking lots of juices. Some of the best juices for good skin are cucumbers, carrot, beetroots, pomegranates and papayas, but really any fruit or vegetable are a great source of antioxidants. These antioxidants destroy harmful free radicals in your body, allowing your skin to repair and heal itself naturally. 

Even though this isn’t necessarily part of skincare, hydrate your lips! The winter is especially brutal on your lips. Using chapstick, lip balm or even oil can save yourself from the chapped, cracked lips that can bother you all winter long.

Another way to keep your skin healthy this winter is to use a humidifier in the rooms in which you most often use, especially one in your bedroom for the nights. While heaters can make the air feel drier, humidifiers add moisture to the room, keeping your skin and lips healthy through the nights. Additionally, this added moisture will help with colds and coughs, doubling as a great remedy and tool for overall health. Especially with predictions that the pandemic is going to spike this winter, don’t forget to take these extra steps to ensure your skin is at its best.

Tanya Kurnootala is a freshman at VCU majoring in biology. She enjoys writing about issues that enrich the female perspective, with a focus on politics and women's health.
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