Winter is here! That magical time when everything is peppermint flavored, we can start wearing snugly sweaters and the world is covered with snow. But there’s another, less happy kind of white flakes that fall slowly to the ground: your poor, poor skin. Yes, as soon as we start staying indoors drinking hot coco with the heat turned up, our skin begins to suffer. Icy temperatures, cold winds and merciless heating form the perfect trio to dry out your skin and leave you itchy, patchy, tight and cracked until spring finally comes around. What’s a girl to do? You need to help your skin repair its protective barrier and keep it moisturized, and we are going to tell you how.
The obvious thing is: get some moisturizer. But the product you use can make a big difference. Your regular moisturizer might do its job just fine on spring and summer, but winter is serious business. Get an oil based product, as opposed to a water based one. This way, you will help repair your skin’s natural lipid barrier to “trap the moisture in”. Is the word “moisture” beginning to lose its meaning yet? This is the part where it gets tricky, because not all oils are created equal. Essential oils, such as the ever-popular lavender, the oh, so fresh eucalyptus and the seasonal favorite peppermint will dry out your skin. Find a product with mineral oil, argan oil, almond oil or avocado oil. These will not clog your pores and will help you regain the elasticity of your skin.
But moisturizer is not the only thing you are putting on your skin every day, is it? During winter, your skin is more sensitive, so you need to pay attention to what kind of soaps, creams, powders, lotions and balms you are using. Even toothpaste will make a difference on how your lips are feeling (hint: get a sulfate-free one). Start reading the labels and avoid products with alcohols, fragrance, menthol (throw away that “tingly” lip balm, is not doing you any good) and essential oils.
Another way to help your skin is to make your environment better for it. No matter what kind of heating you use, the result is the same: hot, dry air blasting against your skin and undoing all that work you put into finding the perfect moisturizer. The solution is to get a couple of small humidifiers and set them up around your home. They are not particularly expensive and they will make a great difference every winter. We know you are not going to like the next one, but it will really help. Stop taking hot, long showers and baths. Yes, we know, they are one of the best parts of winter, but the truth is that they are really damaging. Water strips off the protective oils of your skin and the heat will dry it even more. Choose short, warm showers and snuggle up with a heating blanket after you are done.