Winter might bring breathtaking snowscapes and sparkling holiday lights, but it can also bring cracked hands, flaky elbows, and the itchy frustration that accompanies dry, irritated skin. Cold weather can throw a wrench in what was previously a soothing skincare routine, but luckily, you can prevent cracked hands and chapped lips with a few simple changes.
Light, gentle, and regular exfoliation removes dead skin and rejuvenates the healthy skin underneath. During the winter, consider using an oil-based exfoliant to hydrate the skin instead of ones with harsher ingredients, such as alcohol. Gently wash your face and body afterward with lukewarm water to maintain calm, healthy skin.
Avoid Hot Water
Hot showers may be tempting on cold days, but they will only cause your skin to dry out quickly. Hot water removes essential oils from the skin, leaving it more vulnerable to becoming cracked and flakey. Along with lowering the temperature, limit your bathing time to no more than 10 minutes.
Moisturize Right After Washing
It’s essential to apply a moisturizer several times a day in the winter. Moisturizers work by trapping water in the skin, keeping it hydrated. Using moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath helps keep the hydration you’ve just absorbed close to your skin. Don't towel off all the way after a shower, but just enough that your skin is still damp when you apply your moisturizer.
Even though winter days are shorter and drearier, UV rays still break through those gray clouds. Before going outside, apply sunscreen to your exposed skin, including your lips. Wait at least 20 minutes after application before venturing for ultimate protection.
Use a humidifier to maintain an indoor humidity level between 30% and 50%, the ideal level for preventing dry skin and soothing skin conditions like eczema. Keep in mind that higher levels of humidity can increase the risk of mold developing in your home, so keep humidifiers away from carpets and fabric-covered surfaces for best results.
Hands are one of the most likely places for skin to crack, so wearing gloves during the winter is important. Gloves not only protect against the frigid wind and cold, but they also help keep moisturizer close to your skin.
Hydration is vital in preventing dry skin. Keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water during the day. Also, try to avoid consuming too much coffee and alcohol, which are both dehydrating drinks.
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