Winter skin care has always been an ordeal for me since I have an extremely dry skin.
Dry, flaky, itchy skin.
“Parched” is the word that would describe my skin best!
Come winters and my problem gets worse!
I get dry skin around the nose, chapped lips, cracked heels and dry skin on hands.
In colder weather you have to take extra care of your skin if you want to have a healthy skin and look good. Here are a few tips for skin care in winter, which can help you avoid all the problems associated with this weather.
Ultimate Tips for Winter Skin Care
These tips have been complied after consulting some of the best dermatologists and skin care experts from around the world to enable you better skin care for winter.
- Moisturize: This has to be the most important part of any good skin care regimen- whether it is winter season or summers.
You must keep your skin well hydrated all the time. Most people make the mistake of choosing a moisturizer that, according to them, is ideal for their skin. Thereafter, they use it round the year.
You have to keep in mind that the requirements of your skin vary according to the weather conditions. A light moisturizer which was good enough for your skin in springs and summers might not be able to guard you against the cold, dry winter breeze.
In winters, you will need an oil based moisturizer that seals the moisture within your skin while a water based one might suffice for summers and rainy season.
So, if you have been using a water based moisturizer, change it right away and buy yourself an oil based one to care for skin in winter.
Prefer a moisturizer that contains glycerine and alpha-hydroxyl, to give you smoother and younger looking skin.
- Face wash: The skin on the face is most delicate and sensitive to winter harshness. And also the most visible, which is why it needs some extra care and attention.
Begin with buying a cleanser or face wash that moisturizes your skin as it cleanses. Most products we pick up off the cosmetic shelf are too harsh and rip the skin of its natural oils making it extremely dry, rough and flaky.
‘Invest’ in a creamy facial cleanser as a part of winter care for skin campaign!
- Choose your moisturizer carefully: Now while it is important to choose an oil based moisturizer for the winters, we need to make sure to buy one which does not clog the pores of the skin.
Almond oil, avocado oil, mineral oil and primrose oil have been known not to do while the same cannot be said of shea butter. Most experts are divided on whether shea butter causes clogging of pores. Best avoided, if you ask me!
- Sunscreen: This is probably one of the least understood essentials for good skin care. Most people dab generous amounts of it during summers, but throw it to the farthest corner of their dressing tables during winters.
Take care not to do so.
Your skin needs protection from the sun during winters as well. Winter sun can be as damaging as the summers. Add to it the damage caused by snow glare.
You need to wear a good sunscreen even if it is not bright and sunny and you do not plan to go outdoors. Staying indoors is no excuse for avoiding the sunscreen because the ultraviolet rays present in sunlight cause damage to your skin even when you are indoors.
Additionally, you would do better if you put on some more sunscreen to the exposed parts of the skin at least 30 minutes before you step outdoors, if you want to care for skin in winter.
- Hot water baths and showers: They do feel great and refreshing, especially after a long and tiring day. But they can rob your skin of all its natural moisture and leave it drier than before.
Also, prefer a shower to bathing in atub so that you stay inside hot water for a shorter duration.
Keep the water only luke warm. The hotter the water, the more will be the drying effect on the skin. So, if you already have a dry skin, keep the water tepid and pat dry your skin afterwards rather than scrubbing it.
Avoiding very hot water is an essential part of skin care for winter.
- Soap: Choose your soap in winters carefully. Is summers you will need a soap that helps you fight bad odor. In rainy season, you will need one that will keep your skin non-greasy. Winter care for skin demands that you look for a mild soap which does not have a very high alkaline content.
The safest option would be to pick up soaps which have glycerine, moisturizers and natural oils. Check the ingredients of the soap carefully before picking up a bar on impulse.
Mixing a few drops of oil with yogurt makes it a wonderful natural cleanser. Add to it a little ground gram paste and it will help you exfoliate as well by acting as a scrub- and all that without causing any dryness.
- Body lotion: To keep all your skin soft and supple, apply some body lotion after a bath. Preferably do it when the skin is still moist because moist skin absorbs oils best.
Applying coconut oil before the bath and keeping it on for a few minutes works wonders for the skin.
Since I have an extremely dry skin, no body lotion is good enough for me. My skin starts feeling tight and dry a few hours after applying a body lotion, which is why I have now been using oil after a bath since the last few years.
I mix equal quantities of olive oil and baby oil in a bottle, since olive oil is too thick to get absorbed easily and also causes staining of clothes. Mixing it with baby oil makes it easier to be absorbed and also prevents stains besides, of course, keeping my skin well hydrated throughout the day.
With a little experimentation, you can also find the oil or body lotion which is just right for your skin.
- Lips: Taking care of chapped lips is also a part of skin care in winter. Chapped lips are a common occurrence during winter months. Avoid this by applying a lip balm or petroleum jelly. A vitamin E enriched balm will help heal cracked lips and also prevent chapping in future
- Hands: Frequent washing of hands plus the fact that the skin on the hands is softer than the skin on most other parts of the body (excluding the face) makes hands particularly dry during winters.
Further, the skin on the hands has fewer oil glands than the rest of the body due to which you need to take special care of the skin of your hands during winter months.
Wear gloves when you are going out to seal the moisture inside. If you are wearing woollen gloves, do not wear them directly against the skin to avoid allergic reactions.
Keep a hand lotion on your bathroom shelf, and apply it each time you wash your hands. Petroleum jelly works wonders, and is inexpensive all the same.
Call me quirky, but I even carry mine inside my hand bag all the time. J
- Feet: Winters take a heavy toll on feet ad heels as well. Again, you need heavy oil based products for the feet and heels to keep them soft and smooth. Petroleum jelly and heavy foot creams which contain glycerine help fight winter dryness.
Cracked heels can also be avoided by washing the feet thoroughly with warn water at night and applying a generous amount of petroleum jelly, glycerine or tea tree oil before pulling on thin socks which help to keep the moisture in.
Also prefer thick cotton socks to woolen ones, as a part of your efforts for better skin care in winter.
- Face peels: Most facial packs and peels strip the skin of moisture and essential oils. Choose the packs and peels (if you must use them during the winter months, that is) with utmost care and discretion.
Avoid all toners and astringents that are alcohol based because alcohol can have a drying effect on the skin.
Avoid mud and clay based packs, and substitute them for oil based ones especially if you have an extremely dry skin.
- Humidifier: Use humidifiers at home and preferably, at work too. They step up the amount of moisture in air and thereby prevent excessive dryness. Using several small humidifiers in areas where you spend most of your time can help you get rid of winter dryness to quite an extent.
- Diet: Do not forget that beautiful skin is more than just skin deep. How radiant your skin is will ultimately depend upon the nutrition you are giving to your skin. Winter care for skin, as has been proven by numerous studies and experiments, begins with eating healthy foods.
Consuming olive oil and primrose oil have been known to ward off winter dryness.
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and avoid eating too many oily, baked and processed foods.
- Sufficient water intake: While you do need adequate amount of water to keep your skin health, having excessive amounts of it will not and cannot give you a healthier skin.
As I have pointed out earlier, good skin is the result of a combination of many factors, and fluid intake is NOT one of them. You need to get your facts about water right.
Gulping down 1 glass of water after another thinking it will help in winter skin care when you are not thirsty will not get you anywhere.
You can have a dry skin inspite of drinking more water than you need to. The amount of your water/fluid intake has no correlation whatsoever with how well hydrated your skin is.
While we have taken care to include almost everything that could help you avoid winter dryness and get a healthy skin, we do urge our readers to share their personal experiences with us and let us know if they follow any tricks up their sleeve for better skin care in winter!
Hope you enjoyed reading our ultimate tips for winter skin care and found them useful!