How to Take Care of Your Skin During the Winter Months
I get a lot of comments from clients on their skin changing during the winter months. Reports of irritation, extreme dryness, itchy, redness and scaly skin, and nothing they do seems to make their skin normal. I've compiled a few things that you can do to avoid this irritation.
Winter can be harsh on your skin
Winter presents a unique set of challenges for skin care. Cold, dry air and constantly running heaters leave your skin stripped of moisture. Dry skin is not only unattractive, but also uncomfortable as well. To avoid rough, scaly or itchy winter skin, take proper care of your face by following these five tips.
Drink Plenty of Water
Maintaining a good level of hydration from the inside is important all the time, but especially so in winter. What many people forget is that the skin is an organ and that, just like any other organ’s cells, skin cells are primarily made up of water. When cells are dehydrated, the organ doesn’t function as well as it would with lots of water. When winter rolls around it can be tempting to drink warm, cozy drinks like coffee and tea. However, to keep your skin looking, and feeling, it is imperative to remember to drink plenty of water.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to exfoliate skin during colder months, it is important to remove dead skin cells from the surface. Ideally, you want to find exfoliating products that contain glycolic acid. Glycolic acid helps to breakdown cell bonds making it easier to remove dead skin and debris that accumulates on your skin. The simplest and gentlest way to exfoliate is to use your regular facial cleanser and wash using a wash cloth. Apply light pressure and cleanse using circular motions. If you want to add a bit more power to your exfoliation, use a facial scrub to exfoliate skin. To avoid aggravating sensitive and dry winter skin, stick to exfoliating once or twice each week rather than daily.
Once you have removed dead surface cells, you need to add moisture back into your skin. Pat skin dry, rubbing dry is too rough on your skin, and apply moisturizer. The type of moisturizer you use depends upon your skin type. Oily skin types tend to require a lighter moisturizer, while severely dry skin may need more heavy duty creams. You want to try and cleanse your skin twice a day, morning and night, but be careful not to irritate the skin as this will lead to more oil production. It’s also not a bad idea to find an eye cream with hyaluronic acid or vitamin E to keep those crow’s feet at bay. There are several good options available, but it’s probably a good idea to talk to your dermatologist to figure out which one is right for you.
It’s easy to remember the sunscreen when you’re headed out for a day at the beach. However, during the cold and dark days of winter, it is all too easy to neglect the SPF. Anytime you head outside it is important to remember sun protection. An easy way to combine some of your skincare steps is to use a moisturizer that contains SPF 20 or higher. Even if you already use a moisturizer that contains SPF, it’s not a bad idea to carry around a bottle of sunscreen just in case. Plus, it lets us ladies know that you care about your appearance. This prevents damage to your skin and fights signs of premature aging.
If you prefer a close shave, there are some guidelines you should follow during the winter to help keep your skin looking its best. The best time to shave is immediately following a hot shower, as this helps open your pores prior to shaving. If this is not an option, you can also apply a hot wash cloth to your face for a few minutes prior to shaving to help open pores. Massage a shaving cream onto your skin and rinse your razor after every stroke. A great winter shaving cream offers protection from nicks and cuts in addition to moisturizing properties for your skin. Speaking of razors, don’t buy a cheap razor. Finding a razor that fits your hair coarseness and skin type will pay off in the long run and your face will thank you. It’s an investment that you definitely won’t regret and will prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs for years to come. Post shave, apply something to help moisturize your skin and reduce any irritation caused by shaving.
Proper maintenance and skincare is important at all times, though winter skin care presents its own unique set of challenges. Just a few minor changes to your daily routine help keep your skin hydrated and help you avoid discomfort or irritation from dry winter skin. If irritation continues to occur, visit us at Skin Care For Gents for a free Facial Consultation. Whether we can help you or not, we will help guide you in the proper direction.