Lack of humidity and cold which characterizes the winter wind is capable of wrecking a lot of havoc on your skin. Amongst them is its ability to suck moisture from your skin leaving it dry. It is therefore essential that you know how to take proper care of the skin in winter to enable you to avoid the effects which it can occasion to your skin. What are those effects? Read on to know more about them and how to avoid them.
Effects Of Winter Wind On Your Skin
Winter comes with cold air which is low in humidity. This kind of air can draw moisture out of your skin resulting in dry skin. The consequence of dry skin can range from mild roughness to flaking or something as serious as cracking of the skin causing it to lose its protective, physical barrier function. The implication of this is that microbes, allergens, and harmful chemicals can penetrate the cracks causing infections, allergic reactions, and skin diseases.
Also, dry skin, though not the primary cause of wrinkles on the skin, makes the wrinkles more visible but once you hydrate the dry skin, those wrinkles do reduce in appearance
How Do You Care For Your Skin During Winter
The skin is the largest and heaviest organ of our body. And as you already know, it protects us from infections. And besides this, it is responsible for regulating our body temperature. It is therefore important to care for it to enable it to perform this very important functions.
Besides this fact, caring for your skin makes you look younger than your age and preserves that youthfulness for as long as possible. More than ever the winter months is the time when your skin needs tender loving care the most to enable it to perform its functions to the fullest.
In addition to maintaining a good skin care routine, here are some tips to help you combat this harsh, dry skin-causing winter wind to keep your skin looking soft, supple and hydrated through the season
Use Lukewarm Water To Wash
Taking hot baths removes the natural layer of oil that preserves and protects the skin”s moisture thereby worsening dry itchy skin. It would benefit your skin more to turn down the temperature to warm and do not linger in it for more time than necessary to cleanse your body. Add oils to your bath to ensure better hydration
Another thing to avoid is harsh, deodorant soaps. The ingredients in these soaps, which make them great during the summer months would very likely cause dry skin in the winter. Use non-drying mild soaps, and sparingly, to areas where you are prone to perspire or areas which are exposed to dirt. Avoid antibacterial soaps completely as they don’t prevent infections better than regular soaps, but may rather pose health risks, says consumerreports.org
Air with low humidity or dry air can hasten up evaporation of moisture in your skin. In order to counter this effect, you need to replenish your skin frequently. use a thick oil-based moisturizer on your skin. The oil in the moisturizer will lock into your skin and prevent it drying out. Also, ensure to apply an SPF 30 to exposed skin before going out.
You may use coconut oil, avocado oil or any of the other oils. These oils contain a lot of skin-benefiting ingredients which includes several types of fatty acids which all work very well for skin by helping the skin to stay moisturized. The fatty acids prevent moisture loss through the pores giving it a smooth, healthy even tone.
Another thing to do to help you stay hydrated is to keep moisture in the air. To do this try some natural methods of humidifying your room and office such as placing a bowl of water near heat source, placing some houseplants around, etc. You may also use a humidifier in your apartment or office but ensure to maintain 40-60%RH in indoor environments to prevent your skin from drying and the subsequent harmful effects, says condair.com
Modify Your Skin Care Products
Swap your cleansers to cream-based ones, if you are not already using those. Alcohol and fragrances can further dry out your already dry skin. Stop using products that contain these ingredients in order to help your skin to retain its natural oil. Choose a richer moisturizer to attract and trap moisture to your skin.
Avoid toners and astringents, or if you have to, use with moderation. The reason for this is that a lot of astringents contain alcohol which can dry out your skin.
Take Care Of Your Lips
The winter winds can also effect your lips as it does your skin. It makes it dry and chap. Avoid the temptation of licking your dry lips as this is counter-productive. Rather, use an oil or lip balm on it to keep it moist. You may also use an opaque lipstick on your lips to prevent chapping thereby protecting it from the winter air.
Drink Lots Of Water
Water is essential to maintain skin moisture. It keeps the skin well hydrated thereby enhancing its complexion. Drinking water helps prevent or reduce aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.
Since a lot of moisture is lost through the skin during this season, drink plenty of water throughout the day for a soft and supple skin
Protect Your Skin
Avoid anything that irritates your skin. In the winter season wool and other rough clothing irritates the skin making dry skin itchy. Avoid them. But if you must wear them, wear cotton camisoles, and under garments beneath your wool clothing. Use only fabric materials that do not catch against the skin. clothing made of silk are soft and less irritating and do not draw moisture from your skin.
Do not wear wet clothes and shoes for long. They can irritate your skin and cause itchiness. Change out of them as soon as possible.
Your hands also need protection from the cold winter air. To ensure this, wear gloves or mittens lined with cotton or silk so they do not irritate your hands
What About Your Feet?
Winter is a time when your feet, particularly the heels experience the most cracks. Keep it well moisturized at all times to prevent it cracking. Use heel balms or thick moisturizers that contain ingredients such as Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, Urea, Salicylic acids and others which help to moisturize, soften and exfoliate dead skin cells.
Coconut oil is also a good substance to use on your feet due to its ability to help the skin retain moisture. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may help cracked heels if they are prone to bleeding or infections. Use it especially after a foot soak.
Moisturize your feet at least twice a day and wear shoes that can protect them from the dry wind.
Try natural Skin Care Ingredients
Cleanse and moisturize with good quality certified organic skin care products. Natural ingredients work better than products that contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. For instance, using oils such as coconut oil, avocado oil and a host of other oils as moisturizer during the winter seasons affords you better hydration.
These oils, aside from being rich in valuable vitamins, minerals and nutrients as well as unsaturated fatty acids, they contain precious substances that are present in the outer layers of our skin. They smooth the skin and augment the skin’s natural oils to help prevent moisture loss.
Besides that they absorb deeply by the skin and lock in moisture longer making them more excellent moisturizers than body lotions.
As a toner, consider using apple-cider vinegar. It can help improve your overall complexion by balancing and restoring your skin’s natural pH. This substance which is suitable for use by all skin types is rich in alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps to promote healthy skin by warding off bacterial infections and dissolving dead skin cells, which helps prevent clogged pores and minimizes pore size.
Apple-cider vinegar seems to be one of those natural ingredients that works for just about anything. It is excellent for exfoliating your skin. The main ingredient of apple-cider vinegar is acetic acid, and it contains lactic, citric and malic acids as well. Those acids gently exfoliate skin by dissolving dead skin cells. Applying it to your face also delivers beneficial vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids deeper to your skin
As a cleanser you my use raw honey which is a natural and effective cleanser. Using raw honey as a cleanser leaves your skin feeling soft and supple. It is much gentler than soap and won’t strip the skin of its beneficial oils. Honey has a natural acidic pH which is close to the skin’s pH. Using honey topically will help maintain and restore the skin’s delicate pH balance.
It is very soothing and moisturizing and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone skin due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Winter brings about air which is drying and harsh and can cause your skin a lot of havoc. You can avoid or minimize these damages by utilizing the above mentioned tips to give your skin the proper care that it deserves.
Do you have any special winter skin care secret? Share it with us by leaving your comments or questions below and I will gladly get back to you.