We may sing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” yet forget the damage that winter does to our skin. With some forethought we can keep our skin in great shape when the harsh winds of winter whip around us. Here are some winter skin care tips to maintain and repair dry skin naturally.
Winter takes a toll on our skin, whether we are in the house or braving the elements. It is common to get dry skin during the winter. The humidity level of the air decreases during winter. When the outside air is cold and dry, the moisture inside the skin will evaporate quickly, so your skin will get dry and tight. To prevent this here are the 10 natural tips to prevent winter dry skin.
Top 10 Winter Skin Care Tips to Maintain and Repair Dry Skin Naturally
# 1 – Sunscreen is Not Just for Summer
Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin in summer or in winter. It not only protects you from sunburn, but it also protects from skin cancer and premature aging, Anna Lien-Jun Chien, a dermatologist noted.
This is a winter skin care tip that you may not have thought about. Wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer are all influenced by the Ultraviolet rays – UVA rays. Whether it is sunny, cloudy, hot, or cold, the UVA rays responsible for aging your skin are still coming through.
Additionally, UVA rays can be reflected off surfaces like water, sand, snow, or the pavement. It all leads up to an increase in UVA exposure. It is easier to prevent the damage to your skin than to reverse the damage once it has occurred.
Applying sunscreen should be the last step of your morning, daily routine before leaving the house. Don’t rely on makeup containing SPF, as that does not provide you with adequate protection.
# 2 – Lower the Thermostat
Set your thermostat between 68°F (20 C) and 72°F (22 C). Turning up the heat too high can make it too dry for your skin.
When your water heater is set too high, a hot shower or bath can dry out your skin as well. Keep both temperatures at a moderate level. If you have the temperature of your furnace set too high, it will dry the moisture out of the air in your home, creating dry skin issues.
# 3 – Use a Humidifier
A humidifier adds water vapor to the air. The air inside your home can become very dry during the winter months when the furnace is running.
You can add some moisture to the air with a humidifier. You can purchase some humidifiers that are great for the size of one room. Some well-placed humidifiers around the house can do a good job at adding humidity to your rooms during the dry winter months.
Some home heating systems have a humidifier built directly into the heating system to keep the entire house with an adequate moisture supply in the air during the dry winter months. Check to see if you furnace has a humidifier included with it and that it is working properly.
# 4 – Short and Sweet Showers
Skipping those long, hot, steamy showers is another good winter skin care tip. According to the Mayo Clinic, long, hot showers or baths in hot water remove the natural oils from your skin. It is the skin’s natural oils that keep it soft and supple. If you are like me, you want to keep your skin young and vibrant. A warm, 10-minute bath or shower sounds like a much better alternative.
By avoiding harsh, drying, chemical-filled soaps, you are also doing your skin, and yourself a bigger favor. Skin care products that contain alcohol, and fragrance-filled soaps strip the natural oils from your skin.
The best option is to choose natural, organic, fragrance-free soaps. Gentle skin cleansers with added moisturizers make a much better bath or shower choice.
# 5 – Exfoliate Your Skin
The dry air you encounter during the winter causes damage to your skin. Another winter skin care tip is exfoliation. It is a good way to revive dull winter skin.
You will want to use a gentle exfoliant on your skin. The last thing you want to do is to cause more damage. When you remove the flaky, dry skin on the surface, it encourages new skin cells below.
As your body ages, its natural ability to regenerate itself slows down. As you gently exfoliate your skin with a natural, even homemade product the old skin cells will slough off and reveal fresh glowing skin below.
For a Coconut-Lemon exfoliant you can take ½ cup of coconut oil, 2 Tbsp. sugar and mix well. To this mixture add 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice. Massage your freshly washed face with this mixture to increase its cleansing properties. When done, splash cold water on your face to wash it off and pat with a soft towel to dry.
A Coffee Scrub provides a mild exfoliating action on your skin as it removes dead skin cells. Dry skin needs to be handled gently. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid regular scrubs as they may be too harsh for your skin. However, you can use this scrub occasionally to remove the dead layers and naturally hydrate your skin.
So how do you make a coffee scrub for dry skin?
Instructions: Mix ¼ teaspoon coffee grounds with one Tbsp of plain yogurt. Gently massage this over your face and neck. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse well with cool water and pat dry with a soft towel. You will reveal your brighter, softer skin!
# 6 – Moisturize Your Skin
There are so many skin care products on the market today. Moisturizing your skin is one of the best Winter Skin Care Tips available. You want to know what the best skin care product for you is.
There are products for dry hands, dry lips, and overall body moisturizers. There are moisturizers for cracked heels of your feet as well. These things all relieve the symptoms of dry skin.
Without moisture, your skin becomes more sensitive than ever. “Many soaps, detergents, and shampoos remove moisture from your skin and scalp as they are formulated to remove oil.” Remarked Gretchen Frieling, MD. She is a board-certified dermatopathologist in Newton, Massachusetts.
Choosing only moisturizing hand and body washes is another one of our great winter skin care tips.
Here are some tips for using moisturizers on your skin.
- Apply moisturizer to damp skin, such as when you just step out of the shower.
- Use only gentle, fragrance-free skin care products.
- Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion. The American Academy of Dermatology recommended to look for a cream or lotion that comes in a tube as it seems to work better than one than comes in a pump bottle. They suggested that creams or ointments can hold more moisture than what comes in a pump bottle.
- They also suggested that you look for one that contains one or more of the following ingredients: jojoba oil, glycerine, lanolin, mineral oil, or shea butter.
- To relieve dry hands, apply a non-greasy hand cream after each time you wash your hands.
Hand sanitizers can be very drying to your skin because of the high alcohol content in them. After using the hand sanitizer, allow it to dry, and then apply moisturizer. When skin is moist, it can better protect you from germs. (American Academy of Dermatology)
Petroleum jelly, also known as mineral oil, has been used as a moisturizer for years. A 2017 study concluded that petroleum jelly was both effective and low-cost to treat dry skin especially when caused by aging.
Avoid licking your lips when possible. Use lip balm when needed, just don’t overuse it or it can make the problem worse. A bit of petroleum jelly on dry lips can be very soothing.
# 7 – Choose Non-irritating Clothes
You may hardly realize they are there in pleasant weather. However, when you are out in the cold, they may be a great trial to your skin.
There is no doubt that natural products such as wool, are warm. However, the rough texture may be irritating to your skin.
It would be better to layer with a softer, material that wicks away the moisture, next to your body, and put the warmer woollen layer over top.
Some clothes have irritating tags at the neckline. Remove those tags, if possible, as well as all other irritating tags.
# 8 – Layer Your Outerwear – Protect Yourself from the Elements
Layering your clothes is another one of our winter skin care tips. Wear soft cotton, silk, or other smooth fabrics next to your skin. Some clothes are advertised to wick away the dampness from your skin. That layer should go on first.
After that you can wear your fashionable wool sweaters or other specifically warm layer of clothes on top.
Finally, you need a windbreak. Parkas are made from wind-breaking fabrics. You want the raw, chilling winds to stay away from your skin. This way, if you do get too warm you can remove one layer and still not get too cool. Or when going inside, you can take off the parka and/or sweater so you don’t overheat.
Protect Your Head
Wear a warm hat or toque on your head. A scarf around your neck or a face mask will protect your nose and cheeks from freezing.
Protect Your Hands
Keeping your hands warm is one of the first consideration I have when cool weather approaches. I can almost tell the temperature by the skin on my hands.
To prevent the skin on your hands from becoming rough, I always like to keep a pair of warm gloves in my coat pocket.
My mother-in-law lived in Virginia. One Christmas I gave her a pair of gloves. She chuckled at the time, the gloves I gave her would do well in a cold Canadian climate. For her Virginia climate, they were warmer than she expected. So, you need to dress for your particular climate.
Protect Your Feet
To keep your feet and toes warm, wear two pair of socks. A moisture-wicking pair of socks should go on first to keep your feet dry. Then put on a warm pair of wool or wool blend socks over top.
# 9 – Drink Plenty of Water
During the winter, you may not feel as thirsty as you do during the hot, sweaty summer months. However, you lose water through your skin every day.
You will want to drink enough water to keep the cells in your body hydrated. Just remember that your body is made up of 60% water.
You need to keep your body hydrated to keep your skin cells plump and healthy and to combat the dry environment that winter brings. The solution is to get plenty to drink even if you are not thirsty.
Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they will dehydrate you. Instead, try water, soup, decaf coffee, tea, and herbal teas. Who could resist a cup of warm cocoa on a cold, blustery day?
# 10 – Combat Dry Skin with a Healthy Diet
Don’t forget this last winter skin care tip. Foods rich in omega-3s improve your skin’s lipid barrier and protect against moisture loss.
It is nice to think that you can improve your skin’s moisture content by eating the right foods. You need some fats in your diet to keep your skin supple and elastic.
Enjoy foods such as avocado, flax, safflower oil, nuts, and fish, such as salmon or sardines. We often think of topical applications of moisturizers to keep our skin soft. Why not think about adding healthy nuts, seeds and other omega-3s to our diet to assist with keeping our skin healthy as well.
Winter Skin Care Tips to Prevent Frost Bite
American Academy of Dermatology
Prevent Frost Bite this Winter
- Wear loose comfortable layers
- Protect your feet and toes
- Wear a wool or fleece hat and cover your face with a scarf or face mask to help prevent frostbite of the face and nose.
- Protect your hands with insulated gloves or mittens
- Before going outside, make sure snow cannot get down your clothes or boots
- Keep hydrated – avoid alcohol
- Recognize the symptoms of FROSTBITE redden skin, clumsiness, stinging sensation, burning sensation, throbbing, prickle, followed by numbness.
- Do not rub with snow or immerse in hot water.
- Do use warm water or a warm washcloth to warm the affected area.
- If the skin appears gray, go to the nearest emergency room of your hospital.
Try these Soothing Winter Skin Care Tips
Coconut is the best option to treat your winter dry skin naturally. It is a good age-old skin tonic to soften dry skin. Its rich emollient properties will fill the space between the skin cells and forms a smooth surface.
Coconut oil also contains some saturated fatty acids which will help to keep the skin hydrated and smooth for a long time.
You can even use coconut oil in the sensitive parts of your body, and it is a gentle substance so you can use it daily.
Try an Avocado Mask
You can prepare an avocado mask at home and it is the natural way to soothe your dry skin. You can make the puree of avocado and add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
If you have very dry skin, then add 1 tbsp of honey. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes then wash it off. If you do this, it will increase the hydrating effects of your skin.
According to studies and reports, Aloe Vera helps to provide relief from dry skin. You can apply the Aloe Vera gel on your body and covered it with any kind of clothes.
To get the best results you can do this before going to bed and leave it on overnight. This will help to hydrate and repair your irritated skin.
Aloe vera also forms a protective layer to further repair your skin.
Aloe vera is generally safe to use, but a few people can have mild skin reactions, such as itching or burning.
To avoid side effects, test aloe vera on a small patch of skin first. If there are no signs of side effects within one day, you should be able to use it safely.
Moisturize with Honey
Another great winter skin care tip is honey. It is a great moisturizer. Even if you apply it regularly, it won’t cause any side effects.
Honey is one of nature’s most revered skin remedies. It has great antibacterial and antiseptic abilities. Honey is beneficial for any kind of skin and it is loaded with a lot of benefits like moisturizing the skin, healing the skin, and provides anti-inflammatory properties to the skin.
If your skin is feeling “winter dry”, mix a spoonful of honey with a teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. (The lemon juice is a natural skin brightener.) Apply this lotion to clean, dry skin and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and dry with a soft towel.
Milk also is one of the best ingredients that will help to prevent winter dry skin. But for this, you don’t need to apply it to the body, instead, you can drink milk. If your diet includes 4% (full fat) milk, then the lipids in the milk can help prevent dry skin.
Add Bath Oil to a Warm Bath
A simple beauty secret to make your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated is to add some natural bath oil to your bath.
A rich blend of oils infused with organic botanicals can be used as a bath oil or a total body massage as an after-bathing treat. This is sure to relax and nourish your skin.
Using bath oils are a great way to replenish your skin’s natural oils. So, placing bath oil in a quick, warm bath or massaging with oil after a quick, warm shower, will replenish your skin’s natural oils.
Wash your face only once a day in warm water because your face skin is more delicate compared to your body skin. The natural oils in your face will keep your skin plump and healthy.
Do’s and Don’ts of Dry Skin:
- Eat healthy and balanced diet food, preferring foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these kinds of foods will help in maintaining and repairing the structural part of the cells
- Don’t use any kind of harsh chemicals and alcohols or dyes as it will make your skin dry even more. So before buying any soap or skin-related products go through the ingredient list carefully and always prefer the gentle ingredients which come with added moisturizers
- If your home environment is dry, try to use some humidifier that will allow some moisture in the air. Or else, you apply moisturizer to all parts of your body after bathing
- Don’t take long, hot showers. The natural lipids present in your skin will be stripped away and leave your skin dry. So always use lukewarm water while you are bathing
- Dry skin will tend to be itchy so you shouldn’t scratch it as it will cause more damage. Use a moisturizer to replace moisture in dry skin to relieve itchy skin stress.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol as it will drain the water contents from your body. Also, using tobacco in any forms should be avoided as it will lead to dry skin
Taking care of your skin is a most important task. In this article you have seen 10 winter skin care tips – how to maintain and repair dry skin naturally. You have also seen some facial masks and ways to moisturize and exfoliate your skin naturally. It was noted that sunscreen is number one in summer or in winter as the best skin care tip. It is also important to eat a healthy diet to maintain healthy skin.
Please Leave a Comment
I would love to hear from you. My hands are one of the first places I notice the change in wintertime temperatures. I like to wear gloves. What tips do you use during the wintertime to protect your skin?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.