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Even if you like the cold and dark of the winter months, it’s a rough time for your skin. All the moisture in the air dries up, and you start to suffer from dry, brittle, flaky skin — particularly around your face where your skin is most likely to be exposed to the elements. But you don’t have to simply endure all the discomfort. You can take action to safeguard against it.
So how do you do this? Well, there are various tactics you can use to boost your chances of making it through to Spring without any major problems. Let’s take a look at the best ones.
Cover up as much as possible when outside
If you’re trying to prevent your skin from drying out in the cold, insulation is your best friend. Not only will it keep your skin warmer by preventing heat from escaping, but it will also stop moisture from getting out, so wrap up as extensively as you can.
Wear gloves whenever possible, a warm hat, a scarf, and even a mask of some kind if you’re going to be out for a long time and you’re particularly concerned about your face. Cold-weather clothing can be a little cumbersome, but it’s worth it if you can keep your skin feeling great.
When choosing your clothes, though, be careful about the fabrics and materials you pick. Anything that’s likely to irritate your skin will be a poor choice because it will annoy you and make you more likely to expose the skin so you can scratch it — so avoid fibers.
Don’t wash so much that it dries your skin
When it gets cold during the winter, it’s really tempting to stay warm by taking plenty of hot showers and baths, but this will actually prove counterproductive for your skin. The water will add moisture, yes, but it will also strip away the natural oils that keep moisture trapped. That means that your skin will ultimately get dryer.
You should still wash regularly, but try to keep the heat down and minimize the amount of time you spend showering or bathing. That way, you’ll retain more of your skin oils, and have an easier time getting by in the cold.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
It’s easy to reach for the water bottle in the heat of summer when you’re sweating profusely, but when you’re completely sweat-free in the cold, you might think that hydration isn’t going to be an issue… but that isn’t the case. Not only do you need to hydrate to make up for the moisture wicked away in the cold air, but you have to factor in the time spent in often-excessive heating.
Ensure that you’re drinking plenty of water (the temperature doesn’t matter, so it can be hot water if you’d prefer!) and you’ll fare far better. (And the occasional hot chocolate won’t hurt!)
Moisturize any skin likely to be exposed to the air
Sometimes you can’t avoid having your skin exposed to the cold air (it isn’t practical to completely cover your head, after all), and if you have some long winter walks ahead, you need to do something to protect your hard-maintained skin moisture. That’s where dedicated moisturizers are so useful.
Immediately after washing, apply moisturizer to the areas of your skin that you want to protect, making sure that it all soaks in — and then make sure to avoid wiping any of it away before it’s served its purpose. If your skin is so dry and flaky that basic moisturizer isn’t helping, you may need a prescription cream or gel designed to treat eczema or dermatitis (you can find relevant treatments online — take a look at the selection here, but consult an expert before you choose).
Get a humidifier for your home
It isn’t just outdoors that your skin is at risk of drying out during winter. The lack of moisture in the air will filter into your home, and your skin can dry out significantly while you’re in the warm comfort of your house. To combat this, you can use a humidifier to reintroduce water particles to the air and help restore your skin to its normal moisture levels.
Winter doesn’t need to be a nasty time for your skin. If you can take some (or all) of these steps, you’ll be able to protect your skin from drying out, and head into the Spring and Summer months with a healthy complexion!