How to Save Your Skin This Winter

January 29, 2019

Okay, so if you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, then congratulations--you live in a magical winter wonderland where the air hurts your face. This blisteringly cold can not only take the air right out of your lungs but is also stripping all the moisture out of your skin. Even if you live elsewhere, you still know the feeling when your hands are clammy yet feel like sandpaper, and your feet are so rough they could start a fire when they rub together under your sheets. But don't worry. Here are a few tips on how to prevent this and get your smooth, sexy skin back in time to enjoy some warm winter snuggling.

 

Photo: Rafaella Mendes Diniz on Unsplash 

 

Take cooler showers

It probably sounds crazy to turn down the hot water in the shower or bath, especially when you are using it to thaw out from the cold, but taking slightly cooler showers can literally save your skin. When people take boiling hot showers they strip their skin’s natural protective oils (that's right. Your skin is supposed to have oils on it). These natural oils not only moisturize your skin and keep it feeling soft, but they also create a shield for your skin, sealing in moisture and sealing out the cold. Stripping these oils can also lead your body to overproduce them, leading to worsened breakouts and excessively oily skin. So be kind to your skin and turn down the heat.

 

Moisturize directly after you shower

While this is fairly commonsensical, it is so important that people not skip this step. Another tip to add here would be to opt for an unscented lotion. While scented lotions are great, they introduce unnecessary chemicals into your skin that are absorbed into your body. Unscented lotions, on the other hand, host fewer unnecessary chemicals, making them healthier (and usually cheaper). Unscented lotions can also be used on your face with a lesser chance of eye or nose irritation. However, it is always a good idea to check any product’s ingredients and to sample it on a small area--the back of the hand--to ensure that there will be no allergic reactions. Moisturizing right out of the shower also ensures that you are trapping in all the moisture from your cleansers and the shower itself. Applying lotion before putting on your clothes also helps to make sure no spots are forgotten- elbows, knees, between your toes- even if these areas are normally shielded from the cold they are still susceptible to drying out.

 

Put on tighter clothes

If you needed an excuse to put on yoga pants and avoid the gym, here it is. Tight clothing holds the moisturizer against your skin and seals out the dry air, giving your skin more time to absorb it all. Loose clothing, by contrast, will actually wipe the moisturizer off your skin as you move, as it is not always in close contact with your skin. Additionally, throw on your coziest pair of socks. Not only will this literally save your butt by keeping you from slipping on your freshly moisturized feet, but it will also give your feet more time to absorb the lotion. Also, don't be afraid to apply lotion to your feet liberally. The skin on your feet is much thicker than the skin on your legs or arms, meaning it takes more for the moisture to penetrate and get into the deeper layers.

 

Purchase a humidifier

The primary cause of dry skin in the winter is the lack of humidity in the air. In addition to this, dry air can also cause headaches, nosebleeds and congestion. Simply running a humidifier in your bedroom can alleviate all of this by giving your body a chance to get the moisture it needs by breathing.

 

The winter can take a toll on our bodies and our health. Remember: your skin is your largest organ, making it pivotal to your health and well being. Taking care of it not only gives you a chance to unwind and relax but also help protect you from other health conditions. So be kind and take care of your skin this winter so it can take care of you.

 

 I am Morgan Dunham. I am 21 years old and currently studying History at High Point University with a minor in Psychology. When I am not working you will usually find me drinking tea and binge-watching Gilmore Girls for the eighth time.  

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