Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Skin Tips

I don't know about you, but this winter has wreaked havoc on my hands! I have eczema, so I typically have dry skin the way it is & have to use lotion regularly. My personal favorite at the moment? Jergens Shea Butter. I slather it on every single time I get out of the bath or shower! Now that helps my body & my ever growing belly, but my hands are another story! Since realizing this, I decided to do some online research & have come across a few tips for winter skin that I would like to share with you. 

Make sure you moisturize more. 
Sure, you...just like me...have found a moisturizer that works great in the spring and summer months, but did you know that as the weather changes, so should our skin routine? Yeah, I didn't.... The first thing I came across was that you should find an 'ointment' moisturizer that is oil-based, not water based. The oil will create a protective layer on your skin that will retain more moisture than a cream or lotion. If you plan to use on your face, be sure to look for non-clogging oils such as avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Shea oil (or butter) is controversial because it can clog facial pores. 

Bring back the sunscreen.
Weird right? Yeah, I thought so too. Apparently winter sun combined with snow glare can also damage your skin. I guess once you think about it a little, it makes sense. Apply sunscreen to your face & hands (if exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Be sure to apply frequently if you plan to spend a long time outside. 

Take care of your hands.
The skin on our hands is thinner than most parts of the body & has fewer oil glands, meaning that it's harder to keep our hands moist...especially in cold, dry weather. This is what leads to itchiness & cracking. Be sure to wear your gloves when you head out the door! 

Avoid the wet.
Don't wear wear socks or gloves. This can irritate your skin & cause itching, cracking, sores & even flare up your eczema if you have it. 

Love your humidifier.
Central heating systems & space heaters blow hot dry air through our homes & work areas. By placing small humidifiers throughout our homes, we can keep more moisture in the air & help prevent our skin from drying out. 

Don't forget your feet.
In the winter, our feet need something stronger than those minty foot lotions. Look for a lotion that contains petroleum jelly or glycerin instead. Be sure to use exfoliants to get the dead skin off regularly. This helps any moisturizers you use to sink in quicker & deeper. 

Forget the regular peels.
If your facial skin is already dry & uncomfortable, avoid using harsh peels, masks & alcohol-based toners or astringents. All of these can strip important oil from your skin. Find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner without alcohol & masks that are very hydrating, rather than clay-based (which can actually draw moisture out of your face)....Try to use them a little less often than you normally would. 

No more hot baths.
Oh no!!!! This is my favorite enjoyment of the night.... Unfortinatly the intense heat of a hot bath or shower after being out in the cold can actually break down the lipid barriers in the skin, which of course, leads to loss of moisture. You are better off with just regular warm water & not spending as much time in it. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve skin that is so dry it's become itchy.