Five easy things you can do to keep your winter skin healthy, hydrated, and glowing - for next to nothing!
As soon as the the temperatures drop, the air becomes dry, and the winds grow strong, healthy and glowing skin can turn dry, red, chapped and flakey in an instant if it's not properly cared for.
Living in a mostly warm climate throughout the year means that my skin essentially goes in to complete shock when exposed to cooler temperatures and harsher conditions. The change is immediate and dramatic.
Knowing this, I spend 1-2 weeks prior to any winter vacation preparing my skin for what’s to come, hoping to alleviate some of the symptoms. And every single time I make the same mistake: I focus too heavily on intense hydrating products, and not nearly enough on hydrating habits.
This time, instead of stocking up on serums and rich moisturizers, I relied on everything I know about the culprits of dry, dehydrated skin and made a habit of doing everything I could to avoid it.
Not only did it work like a charm, but it was easy to do and cost me next to nothing.
Read on to learn about fool proof ways to keep your skin soft, smooth and glowing - even in the harshest of winters.
There is no cheaper, more accessible resource for hydration than water. Aim to drink 2-3 liters a day, and start first thing in the morning. If I can manage to drink 1 liter by noon, it is always easier to maintain the habit throughout the day and into the evening.
To avoid getting bored, throw in a slice or two of lemon for some flavor; or try switching between cold, hot and room temperatures throughout the day.
Avoid hot water
Harsh winters make steamy hot shower or soaking in bathtub really, really tempting. While I love nothing more than marinating in a bath after a freezing cold day, my skin absolutely hates it.
Hot water can be dehydrating, and really wreak havoc on the skin - and even more so if your skin is already dry, itchy or irritated.
To avoid making things worse, cut down on the frequency and length of hot showers and baths during winter months. Using lukewarm water instead will help the skin retain it’s moisture better, and heal or prevent it from becoming more irritated.
The same applies to washing your face - always use lukewarm or cold water. When removing your facial cleanser, use awash cloth to press the water into the skin instead of wiping it away, which can cause more irritation and redness.
It doesn’t matter if it isn’t sunny or warm outside - applying a broad spectrum sunscreen is always a good idea.
I apply SPF daily in the winter (even on the cloudiest of days) because it is absolutely essential in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, but also because it prevents my red, wind burnt skin from getting unnecessarily more red from sun exposure.
Eat hydrating foods
In addition to drinking at least 2 liters of water a day, make it a point to fruits and vegetable that are well known for their high water content.
Cucumber, celery, iceberg lettuce, radishes, cauliflower, spinach, green pepper watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe - are all made up of at least 90% water.
Over and above their hydrating benefits, fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which are essential for transforming dull skin and creating a healthy glow. They are also filled with fiber, which helps eliminate toxic waste from the body and reduce inflammation.
Don’t crank up the heat
When were not freezing to death outdoors, we’re cranking up the central heating at home and in our cars to warm ourselves up. But its making our skin, and leaves it feeling unusually tough and tight.
To go entirely without heat in the winter is unthinkable. At the same time, putting the heat on full blast is unnecessary a lot of time.
Play around with your thermostat; get it to the lowest temperature possible where you’re still comfortable. When you’re out of the house all day, turn the heat off or to a low temperature that’s a few notches warmer than outside. If you’re the type who has trouble sleeping when they’re too hot, then try turning the central heating off and bundling up instead.
The less you’re exposed to heat blowing up against your skin throughout the day, the more you will protect it from becoming dehydrated.
The fact of the matter is that harsh winters will always be a major culprit of dry, dehydrated skin. But you shouldn’t assume that treating dry, irritated skin is a lost cause until the season passes; or that excessive moisturizing or expensive products are the only ways to combat the problem.
By implementing these small, simple and inexpensive hydrating habits daily, you might be able to avoid winter skin woes and achieve a hydrated and healthy glow all year long.