The colder months can be really harsh on our skin — the drop in temperature outside and blustery conditions combined with the drying heating indoors often leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy, and irritated. From turning down the heating to eating well, there are plenty of simple skincare steps you can take to protect your skin during the winter and get that healthy glow back.
Turn down the temperature
It’s tempting to stick the heating on full blast during colder months, but it can wreak havoc on your skin — drying it out and making it uncomfortable. Instead, try putting another layer of clothing on and turn down the thermostat a little and your skin will be much happier.
Use cooler water
Long, hot showers are another thing that will quickly dry out your skin — even washing your hands in hot water can damage the skin. If the water causes your skin to turn red, it is too hot.
Limit your showers to less than ten minutes and only turn the heat up to a lukewarm temperature. This is more difficult to do in the cold winter months, but your skin will appreciate your restraint.
Regular moisturizing is essential for healthy skin during the winter months. Try to moisturise your face twice a day, in the morning and evening, and make it a habit to moisturise your hands after every wash.
Use a moisturiser designed for sensitive skin; look for hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic products that will not irritate your skin or clog your pores.
Don’t forget about SPF
It’s really easy to forget about wearing sun protection during the winter, but even on the cloudiest days, the sun’s harmful UV rays can still make their way through. And if you’re going out in the snow on a bright day, it might be cold but the snow is going to reflect those rays and it’s really easy to end up with a sunburn.
The UV rays increase your risk of developing skin cancer and can cause premature aging, so you need to make sure you’re using the right products to protect your skin in the winter. Choose moisturizers and skincare products that have SPF protection in them so that it’s easy to add sun protection into your daily routine.
Protect yourself against eczema flare-ups
Eczema is a common skin condition that causes the skin to become inflamed and red, as well as extremely dry and itchy. If you suffer from eczema then winter conditions and dry air can cause some of the worst flare-ups.
You might want to know how to get rid of eczema, and although there’s no cure, it’s possible to use treatments to control symptoms so you can manage dryness throughout winter.
To combat these eczema flare-ups, you must take additional steps to hydrate your skin and avoid contact with products or materials that can irritate it. Make certain that you only use gentle skincare products designed for sensitive skin. In addition to taking cooler, shorter showers, use a thick moisturiser immediately after showering to rehydrate the skin.
When you have eczema, some fabrics and materials, such as nylon and wool, can aggravate your skin even more. Synthetic fabrics, in particular, can cause you to overheat, exacerbating the problem, so opt for more breathable, lighter fabrics like cotton.
You can also find specialized moisturizers and shower gels that can help with eczema. And it could be worth considering investing in a humidifier in your home to increase the moisture levels in the air during the winter.
Use a gentle exfoliator
By regularly using a gentle exfoliator you’ll get rid of any build-up of dead skin, which enables the steps you’re taking to hydrate your skin to have more effect.
Look for an exfoliator that contains a low concentration of glycolic acid to break the bonds between the layers of skin and get rid of dull, dead skin. This will help your skin to appear smoother and more even, and keep it looking healthy throughout the winter.
However, if your skin is really dry or broken then stick to gentle cleansers or even a face cloth and warm water that can buff away at your skin.
Eat well and exercise regularly
It’s easy to slip into some bad habits when it comes to our diet and exercise during the winter. Comfort foods and sweet treats seem all too tempting, and our motivation to go outside disappears when it’s cold, dark, and miserable. But it’s essential to focus on your diet and regular exercise if you want to keep your skin looking healthy.
Try and maintain a balanced diet to ensure you’re getting enough protein, carbohydrates, and all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Foods that are high in antioxidants such as strawberries, blueberries, kale, and beans, are also good for boosting your immune system and improving your skin.
If you find it hard to resist the temptation of unhealthy takeaways then get in the habit of planning out your meals for the week ahead and cooking balanced meals ahead of time. Drinking enough water is also key to keeping your skin hydrated and healthy-looking.
And, regular exercise will not only boost your physical and mental health generally, but it also improves blood circulation on cold days. This helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin to promote collagen production and new skin cells, which helps skin look better.
Looking after your skin during the winter is all about staying hydrated, taking care of yourself, and using the right products. By above these simple tips you’ll have healthy skin all through the colder months.