- Healthy skin starts from the inside out. Drinking extra water, even when you’re not as thirsty because of the cold, is an important first step to maintaining good skin health. Fish oil and flaxseed oil both provide omega fatty acids that can be beneficial in severe conditions, too.
- Stay warm, but not too warm. While it’s tempting to crank the heat on a cold day, anything above 72 begins to zap the moisture from the air and can in turn dry out your skin. If you really must turn the heat higher, then consider investing in a humidifier to offset the moisture loss from the heat.
- The same goes for showers and baths, too. Warm (not hot) water is best for keeping the moisture in your skin, and time in the water should be limited to less than 10 minutes.
- As soon as you get out of the shower, moisturize while the skin is still damp, and be sure to use a heavy-duty moisturizer rather than simply a lotion during the winter months.
- Limit exfoliants, toners, astringents, and scented skin products during the winter. Even if they don’t usually cause skin sensitivity, the more fragile state of your skin during the winter can allow problems to develop.
- Be wary of scented detergents and those with dyes, too. Exposure to even small amounts of these chemicals left in clothes can potentially result in irritated skin. That being said, don’t forget to wash new clothes before wearing as excess dye left in new clothes can also cause skin issues.
- Warm clothes can sometimes be an issue as well. For those with sensitive skin, wool can lead to rather profound itching, and other types of heavy clothes are often made of more coarse materials. Be sure to layer with lighter, more comfortable clothes protecting you from the rougher texture of your winter garments. Heavy clothes also tend to hold moisture longer than lighter layers, so if you do end up with snow falling into your jacket or boots, try to change as soon as possible as wet clothes can be even more irritating to skin than dry ones, and in turn, make you that much itchier.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen! Even on bleary days, UV damage is quite possible (as anyone who’s ever come home from a ski trip with goggle outlines can attest). A combination of moisturizer and sunscreen can limit the number of skin products needed during the winter.
- Lastly, at the end of the day, don’t forget to gently wash your face before bed to rinse of any accumulated products, oil and grime accumulated during the day. A gentle nighttime moisturizer is a good investment in protecting your skin before bed.