Face it! Winter is tough, and so is winter skin care. And because your face is most often exposed to the season’s harsh elements, it takes the toughest beating of all. That hard work you did through the summer and fall to keep your face looking fresh and bright can be easily undone in the wintertime if you don’t follow some hard and fast rules for taking care of that beautiful face of yours.
1. Avoid steaming hot water – While you’re no doubt tempted to enter a super-hot shower at the end of the day or to wash your face with very hot water, just to get warm during the cold weather, experts say that washing with lukewarm water is better for your face…and all your skin. Very hot water will strip the oils from your skin and the result will be dryness. (You’ve probably noticed this with your hands, especially if you wash them multiple times during the day.)
2. Speaking of water… – Don’t limit your water intake in the winter. Because it’s cold outside, we tend to fill up on tea, coffee, and hot cocoa, and are less likely to tote around that refillable water bottle. But your skin still needs that hydration. Perhaps drinking water at room temperature rather than ice water might be a good solution for the colder months. Or warm your water slightly and add orange or lemon for a more palatable drink. You can also hydrate from the inside by eating foods like apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery.
3. Cover up – A lot of people – both men and women – tend not to wear scarves, hats, and gloves when they should. “Oh, it’s just a short walk,” you might say. “I don’t need a scarf.” But you really should cover those vulnerable areas at all times while out in the cold weather. Your skin needs to be protected from wind, icy rain, and cold temps. Make-up that includes a sunscreen is still a good idea, even in the winter, when harsh sun rays can be damaging as well.
4. Consider a humidifier – Many of us live in homes where the heat inside is very drying for our skin. To keep that moisture in your face when you’re at home, consider a humidifier, especially at night when you’re asleep. You can also purchase a whole-house humidifier that attaches to your heating unit and keeps all your rooms moister during the winter.
5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize – Aestheticians who specialize in keeping the face looking young suggest that you moisturize at least a few times a day during the winter, including immediately after you wash your face, even if your skin is still a bit damp. It’s good to moisturize before applying your make-up in the morning as well.
6. Research wintertime moisturizers – Not every moisturize is good for every kind of weather condition. For cold-temperature winters, select one that is oil-based rather than water-based. Read the ingredients and watch out for petroleum-based products as well, which can have a super drying effect on your skin.
7. Choose a suitable cleanser – Same goes for cleansers. Many of those have ingredients that can further dry your skin. Avoid, for example, glycolic acid in favor of a cleanser with more nourishing, hydrating ingredients.
8. Exfoliate! – Get rid of those dry skin cells by using a gentle exfoliating mask on your face AND your hands. You’ll get that shine back and your skin will feel softer and smoother.
Have more questions about caring for your skin in wintertime…or any time? Talk to your aesthetician about other steps you can take for youthful-looking skin, no matter the temperature!