We’ve traded our open-toed sandals for boots and have covered up our bare arms with turtlenecks and sweaters, but that doesn’t mean we can forget about caring for our skin until next spring and summer! Cooler and colder temperatures outside – and warmer, drier temperatures inside – bring with them many challenges to our skin. It becomes drier and rougher, with flakiness and itchiness (not to mention chapped and sore lips) often the result of these temperature extremes.
But you can combat late fall and winter skin woes. Here, I’m offering nine tips to help you maintain smooth, supple skin all the way through the cold months. Don’t you want to re-emerge next spring with a beautiful canvas? I do!
Water, water everywhere. Drink lots of it, even when you don’t feel like it. This internal hydration keeps skin cells plump and healthy, and transports nutrients to keep these cells nourished.
Warm up your food and drinks. Eating warm, cooked foods and drinking warm water or herb/spice teas (not to mention daily exercise) can help improve circulation, keeping your skin healthy and clear.
Cool it down. Heated homes, workplaces and cars can wreak havoc on skin. Turn the heat down to the lowest comfortable level, and supplement the moisture balance in your space with room humidifiers. Balancing moisture also helps keep your nasal passages and eyes from feeling too dry.
Limit hot-water exposure. I know…nothing sounds more appealing than a long, hot bath on a cold day, but overexposure to hot water can dry skin out even ore. Keep your baths or showers short and use lukewarm – not hot – water when you bathe.
Moisturizer is a must. One appropriate for your skin type is key to keeping your facial and body skin lubricated. Apply it to damp skin right after cleansing to lock in surface moisture. If you’ve got oily skin, light applications are best to avoid clogging your pores.
Love your hands and feet. Pay extra attention to these, as they often tend to be drier than the rest of the body. Delicate skin here can crack and peel when dry – and not only is it unattractive, it can hurt! When doing household chores that expose your hands to water, remember to wear gloves.
Don’t forget sun protection. The sun may feel milder during colder months, but it’s still as intense. Any time you expose your skin – out on the ski slopes or just out running errands – be sure wear a natural lip balm and some sort of sunscreen, even if it’s in your facial moisturizer.
Don’t be afraid to slough off. You may not be wearing a swimsuit or shorts, but weekly exfoliation is still a must for removing dead skin cells and for keeping your skin from looking dull. Just be gentle, don’t scrub too hard or too long–and finish with a hydrating mask and/or moisturizer.