10 Essential Winter Skin Care Tips That You Should Follow

Keep your skin safe and smooth this winter

Winter: the dreaded season when we all dream of abandoning our cold cities and traveling to a warm-weather destination. But if you can’t afford to splurge on a vacation hotspot, guaranteeing you’re prepared for harsh winter weather is a priority.

There are steps you can take to prepare your car for winter weather and improvements you can make to your home after winter takes its toll. But are you keeping your body safe?

Winter weather is tough on our skin. Humidity is low, meaning the air is dry, and temperatures are freezing. And if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect your skin from winter’s harsh conditions, you’ll have rough, irritated skin by the time warm, sunny days roll around. 

Follow these tips to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Use sunscreen

Use sunscreen

A common misconception is that sunscreen should only be applied on sunny summer days when you’re lounging at the beach or hanging poolside. But if you plan to participate in winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, sunscreen is a necessity. Sunlight is the greatest source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the main cause of skin cancer. If sunlight bounces off a surface, it can increase UV exposure. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “snow reflects 80% of the sun’s UV light,” doubling harmful exposure and increasing the risk of damage to your skin. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on exposed skin to protect your body.

Dress accordingly

This might sound like common sense, but the best way to protect your skin during the winter months is to dress accordingly. As the temperature drops, your layers should increase. The National Weather Service suggests wearing one to two layers and warm, waterproof shoes on a chilly day; two to three layers, a warm hat and waterproof boots on a cold day; and more than three layers, a warm hat, face mask and waterproof boots during extremely cold weather.

Avoid long, hot showers

After spending time outdoors on a winter day, your first instinct might be to turn the shower heat up as far as it’ll go and bask until the hot water runs out. But your dream shower could damage your skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the causes of dry skin is hot baths and showers. Set your water temp to warm, not hot. And avoid those arguments about running out of hot water or taking too long in the shower — the American Academy of Dermatology recommends keeping shower time to 10 minutes or less. Another pro tip: once you’re out, pat your skin dry.

Use creams and ointments

cream and oinment for skin

Cold weather naturally dries out the skin. But you can prevent your skin from becoming rough and scaly by investing in thick creams and ointments. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, thick creams and ointments are a great defender against the effects of winter weather because they trap existing moisture in the skin and are less irritating than lotions. For best results, apply a cream to your entire body immediately after showering. And if you’re naturally prone to dry skin, mix your cream with an oil for an extra layer of defense.

Use a hand cream

Peak flu season in the United States is during winter months. And though it’s a myth that cold weather will give you the virus, touching a contaminated surface could. Washing your hands regularly should be a priority, but so should applying hand cream. Just like you would with your body, use hand cream immediately after washing to lock in moisture.

Wear gloves

In addition to applying hand cream, wearing gloves on chilly days will protect your hands from the negative effects of cold, winter air. Our hands are the first to indicate dry skin. Gloves prevent cracked skin and brittle nails.

Find a good foot cream

Your feet are trapped in thick socks and even thicker boots all winter long. But just because your toes are hidden away from the world doesn’t mean they don’t deserve some tender love and care. Dry conditions can lead to cracked, rough skin, and your feet can pay the price if neglected. If you want smooth feet all year long, apply a thick foot cream after showering and before bed.

Use lip balm

If your face is exposed when you venture out in cold weather, chances are your lips will suffer. Harsh winds can dry out your lips and leave them cracked and peeling. Invest in a lip balm to keep your lips smooth and moisturized. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery recommends wearing a lip balm with SPF to not only protect your lips from harsh weather but UV rays as well. Just make sure to not share your lip balm with others to prevent spreading germs and diseases.

skin care tips for winter season

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