Winter Skincare Dos and Don’ts

Image via jkb.sk's Flickr photostream

Winter skincare is often a tricky thing. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, the weather takes a turn for the worse and you’re left reapplying lip balm every two minutes in order to be able to smile without it hurting. Whether or not you have a known skin problem or have to buy your products from the section marked ‘sensitive’, we can all use a few extra tips during cold weather.

Do… Replenish Moisture
Long hot baths and showers can strip away the natural oils that help keep your skin from drying out, so try to keep the temperature down a bit when washing. Also, remember to drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables wherever possible. It’s easy to forget that your skin’s moisture can be topped up from the inside too! Central heating sucks moisture from the air, so a humidifier can also help if nothing else seems to work.

Do… Protect Your Skin
Make sure you use a caring cleanser and a rich moisturiser. A harsh cleanser can leave your skin a little worse for wear in winter and it can be too easy to skimp when applying moisturiser, so go for cheaper gentle products and then you won’t be afraid to use more. A nice layer of moisturiser gives your skin far more protection from winter than you’d think. Also, on windy days, don’t be afraid to pop your scarf over your face a bit to protect yourself from the cold.

Don’t… Go Hot and Cold
Constantly coming indoors where it’s warm and then going back out in the cold can mean our skin gets dried out pretty fast from reacting to the changes in temperature. Obviously we want to stay warm and toasty when we’re indoors but, to avoid the extremes that will leave your skin hating you, it’s best to try to change temperature gradually. Don’t sit curled up in front of the fire right before dashing out into the cold – your skin will hate you for it.

Don’t… Scrub at Your Skin
It can be tempting to use an exfoliator on your face when skin is dry, but this will just leave more sensitive skin exposed to the elements. Also, rubbing yourself with a towel after bathing can damage your skin if it’s sensitive to the stresses of wintertime. It’s far better to pat yourself dry instead. Another thing to be wary of is that many of our cozy winter woollens may be far too scratchy for our skin to cope with. Stick with soft fabrics where you can and use non-biological laundry detergent if you’re super-sensitive.

And finally… please, whatever you do, don’t lick your lips. Remember that lip balm is designed to prevent chapped lips, not cure them.

A version of this article first appeared on BitchBuzz in January 2011. Image via jkb.sk‘s Flickr photostream.

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