Winter season is upon us and lately I've noticed my skin has been getting a bit drier and has needed a bit more attention than in the hot summer months. Here's some basic tips on how you can adjust your skincare for the colder months.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
A lot of people (but not all) notice their skin starts to feel tighter and drier in the winter months, due to dropping temperatures, exposure to nature's elements like wind, rain or snow, and increased temperatures at home or in public buildings. This can take its toll! If you're using a light moisturizer and have noticed increased dryness, choose a more emollient, richer daytime and nighttime moisturizer. You don't have to break the bank - you can even get some good products on the cheap from Olay, Cetaphil, Dove, etc. Also use a richer body lotion if you experience dry skin on your legs, arms, back, and elbows.
Use a facial exfoliator to rid your skin of dead skin cells, which can leave a patchy, uneven appearance and make it hard to apply foundation evenly. Some inexpensive brands are from the Body Shop, or St. Ives, or even the generic aspirin mask. Use a loofah sponge or a natural fiber scrub mitten to exfoliate your body such as your legs, back, etc. You won't get that annoying itchiness associated with dry body skin - just make sure to follow up with moisturizer after.
Drinking lots of water, or non-alcoholic beverages like green tea can help to restore the natural moisture to the epidermis. Especially in winter when you might not feel thirsty as often, it's important to drink enough water each day. Drinking water has many other benefits, such as reduced water retention, and clearer skin that is less prone to break-outs. Keep a jug of Britta water at the office, or a large bottle of mineral water, and make sure to drink it throughout the day.
Turn down the temperature!
Increased room temperatures in the cold winter months can cause your skin to dry out. There's no need to jack up the thermostat like crazy - keep at an even 21 degrees Celsius. If you get chilly, put on a sweater rather than waste energy and dry out your skin by running your heater on high and running around in shorts and t-shirt.
Even though the sun might not be as intense as in the summer, UV rays can damage your skin even in winter so be sure to wear sunscreen during the day. People often wear sunscreen in the summer and then totally forget it in the winter - big mistake! Wearing sunscreen everyday will greatly help to prevent the onset of premature wrinkles. Try to go for at least SPF 15 or above - just because the sun might be hiding behind some clouds, doesn't mean your skin is not exposed to harmful UV rays.
Pamper your skin!
Use a moisturizing or balancing face mask once a week. Again, you don't have to splurge on expensive brands, the Internet boasts hundreds of recipes of great DIY home remedy masks using everyday ingredients such as eggs, olive oil, sugar, or honey. I've also found inexpensive but good single-use masks at the drugstore that cost around $1 each.
Switch your Cleanser
If you're using a harsh facial cleanser, try switching to something more gentle. Try a cream or lotion based cleanser without perfumes, this will calm your skin and not strip off your natural oils that lead to healthy, balanced, and supple skin. Cetaphil or Spectrojel are two inexpensive drugstore brands that are geared towards sensitive, dry, or problem skin.
Got any great winter skincare tips? Tried any great products? Share them in the comments below!