by Jessica Pigza
Winter is the time of year to break out the cute jackets, gorgeous scarves and amazing boots, but it is also a time to give your skin some extra TLC. Depending on where you live, winter is short-lived, if it even comes at all, while for others, winter seems like it will never end. No matter what the duration, the winter months can take a serious toll on skin, making it dry, itchy and flaky. The irritation and pain of dealing with winter skin can make anyone want to rush through the season. Personally, I want to enjoy this time of year. It makes dealing with Georgia’s crazy summer heat way more bearable. In order to do this, I’m taking some extra steps to help my skin get through the dry winter season.
1. Limit Shower & Tub Time
Spending too much time in hot water can dry skin out fast! Hot water quickly strips skin of its natural oils leaving it extremely vulnerable. Especially this time of year when the air is at its driest, it’s important to give skin a fighting chance at holding on to all the moisture it can. Opt for warm water next time you hop in the bath or shower and try to keep bathing time between five and ten minutes. Also, instead of harshly drying skin with a towel, gently pat the water off. Aggressively rubbing your skin with a towel will make dry skin even worse.
2. Check Your Soap or Gel
A contributing factor to dry skin may be the soaps and gels you are using. Avoid soaps with heavy perfumes or dyes. Also, if your soap creates an excessive amount of lather, it may contain harsh surfactants, which act as an emulsifier. In other words, it’s what creates the lather that enables the soap suds, water and oils from your skin to bond together and then be washed away. Try using a gentler soap such as Dove or Olay as they will strip less oils from your skin.
3. Use a Humidifier
Using a humidifier will help put moisture back into the air and help keep skin from drying out. Having a few set up around the house is ideal, but if this won’t work for you, having one in the bedroom will give you the most benefits. Extremely cold nights cause the heat to run more which causes the air to be drier at that time of day. By placing it in your room while you sleep, you’ll get the most benefits and you won’t wake up wanting to claw your skin off. Plus, it will help keep your eyes and sinuses from drying out too.
Tip: If you don’t have a humidifier, use a vaporizer instead to help put moisture back into the air. Just be careful, especially if you have little ones, because vaporizers use warm steam instead of a cool mist.
4. Use the Right Lotion
There are so many different types of lotions and creams on the market and they are each have a time and place. Just like you have different clothes for each season, it’s important to also adjust your cosmetics and lotions for the seasons as well. The light, airy lotions used in the spring and summer are not going to cut it when the temperature drops and the windchill takes it down another few degrees. It’s time to break out the heavier creams! Look for products that have shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin as an ingredient. Also using simple petroleum jelly will help lock in moisture. Apply your moisturizer of choice right after bathing while skin is still damp. Not only will it provide a protective barrier for your skin, but it will trap in the water left behind from your bath or shower.
Tip: Using olive oil is an excellent way to moisturize skin. Not only does it penetrate deeply into skin, but it won’t clog your pores. Keep in mind a little goes a long way!
5. Moisturize from the Inside Out
Make sure to drink plenty of water during the extra dry winter months to help keep skin hydrated. Rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Another way to help hydrate your skin from the inside out is with a daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. This can come from eating foods rich in Omega-3 like salmon and tuna or walnuts and flax seed. You can also try taking an over the counter Omega-3 supplement to give you the extra boost. Just be sure to talk to your doctor first especially if you are on blood thinners or have cholesterol issues.
How is your skin holding up this winter? What are some moisturizing products you swear by? Please feel free to share below!
Jessica is a military wife, married to her husband Nate of 14 years, and stay at home mother to three energetic and fearless children, Sophia, Brandon and Rachel. Originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the military life has given her a chance to live all over the United States and meet many amazing people along the way.