The cold, dry winds of winter are upon us, and many people are dealing with chapped lips and dry, red, irritated skin. Since the skin is your body’s largest organ and works to protect your body from environmental damage such as sunlight, irritants and pollution, it is important to take good care of your skin all year long.
Winter brings its own challenges to the skin as the temperatures drop and cold, dry winds blow in. The main result of this change in the weather is dry, flaky skin. What can you do to protect and restore your skin? Here are the Skin, Health & Beauty Examiner’s top ten tips to winterizing your skin.
Top Ten Tips to Winterize Your Skin
1. Practice Safe Sun
Remember the sun still shines through winter clouds and is reflected back by snow, water, metal and concrete. Winter sun causes sun damage so practice safe sun to protect your skin from the sun. A good sun screen will also moisturize and restore your skin.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
Proper nutrition plays an important role in keeping your skin healthy in the winter. This means cutting back on oily fried foods and eating more fruits, vegetables and fish. Foods that are rich in Omega 3s help your skin stay naturally moist, and foods rich in antioxidants help fight the free radicals that lead to skin cancers.
3. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Hydrating your skin also is helped by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Water flushes our kidneys, hydrates our bodies and skin, and many experts believe water helps hydrate and plump the skin.
Exercise is not only important for keeping your weight down, but it also is a vital part of increasing blood flow to carry oxygen, nutrients and moisture to the skin.
In winter skin becomes flaky because there is often more dead skin on the surface in cold weather. Exfoliating helps remove this upper layer of dead skin resulting in smoother, more luminous skin. However, many exfoliants are too harsh for delicate skin, and some exfoliants can cause tiny abrasions and irritation to the skin. It is important to choose an exfoliant that is effective but that won’t irritate the skin. See: How to wash your face: Top 10 tips for healthier facial cleansing
6. Moisturize Day & Night
Moisturizers are an important part of your winter beauty regime and two moisturizers are better than one. A good daytime moisturizer not only moisturizes, but it should have ingredients like peptides to help strengthen skin’s structure and sunscreen to help protect the skin from sun damage.
At night choose a nighttime moisturizer designed to work overnight to replenish the skin’s natural moisturizing factors and stimulates collagen production while you sleep. I recommend Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream
7. Use Lip Moisturizers & Exfoliants
In the same way it is important to protect and exfoliate the skin, it is also important to protect and exfoliate your lips. Products like Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer can help protect lips from the cold wind and winter sun, and products like Lip Micro-Dermabrasion can remove dead skin cells and exfoliates flaky lip tissues to help protect and restore your lips in the winter.
8. Cleanse Skin with a Mild Cleanser
Cleanse the skin with a mild cleansing cream designed for your specific skin concerns. Unless your skin is very oily. I would avoid products with Salicylic Acid as well as antibacterial soaps in the winter.
9. Get Plenty of Sleep
Since your skin heals itself at night and many skin care products are designed to work overnight while you sleep, it is important to get a full night’s sleep — 7 or 8 hours worth.
10. Don’t Overdo It
Although it is important to use moisturizer and other skin protectants on your winter skin, overdosing your skin with products or the wrong products and over washing your skin can lead to even more irritated skin. It is important to use products designed to work together, as well as to choose products designed for your specific skin type and environment. One size does not fit all in skin care. Pick a good skin care regime designed for your skin and watch for any sign of irritation. Remember that cheaper products often have cheaper, less effective ingredients, so choose your skin care regime with care. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist for suggestions.