6 Skin Care Tips for the Cold, Dry Season

The brutally cold winters in the northern United States are infamous for drying out the skin. If you want to keep your complexion in its best condition throughout the next few months, invest in a humidifier for your home or bedroom. Humidifiers increase moisture levels in the air, therefore increasing the humidity in your home. Humid weather conditions, when compared with cold and dry weather conditions, help keep your skin significantly softer and healthier. Additionally, humidity has been known to speed up the skin cell skin cell regeneration process. If your skin is naturally dry, and if you’re worried about it taking a turn for the worse this fall or winter, a humidifier is just what you need to keep your skin glowing and your confidence growing.

Shorten Your Showers

When it comes to showering and bathing, don’t linger in the water for long periods of time. Although we could all use a solid bathtub meditation session every once in a while, you should avoid spending more than five minutes in the shower or bathtub on a regular basis. Five minutes is the longest period of time that your skin can withstand contact with hot water without risking damage. And since your skin is typically more sensitive and vulnerable during the cold, dry seasons, you’ll want to limit showers even more than usual. That doesn’t mean your hygiene has to deteriorate. Rather than showering for ten minutes, shower for five minutes and exfoliate for five minutes outside the water. If your situation allows, limit your showers to every other day–but continue to wash your face daily.

Try Home Remedies

If you’re starting to experience dry, flaky skin due to the weather in your area, consider experimenting with home remedies instead of commercial lotions and creams. Skin care products found at your everyday local drug store or grocery store are often loaded with chemicals that could potentially damage or dry out your skin. Instead of purchasing bottled lotions, face washes, and acne pads, try making your own skincare products, or experiment with a few all-natural, tried-and-true moisturizers–most of which you can find in your kitchen! A few popular natural moisturizers include honey, olive oil, coconut oil, aloe, shea butter, oat, cucumber, rose water, and buttermilk. Homemade skin care products often smell much more pleasant than commercially sold items, and they have no added chemicals (and therefore no unpredictably negative side effects). If you rely on a particular store-bought skin care product and can’t see yourself switching to something more natural, try supplementing your routine with a moisturizer or skin cleanser to ensure that you are not damaging or drying out your skin.

Moisturize Frequently

Moisturizing is one of the most effective ways to combat dry skin in any season, but it’s especially essential during the cold and dry winter months. If you want to prevent your skin from drying out, take a few minutes every day (morning and night) to moisturize. If you don’t suffer from any allergies to shea butter or cocoa butter, opt for moisturization products that contain a large percentage of those two ingredients. Shea and cocoa butter have been proven to keep the skin soft, smooth, and supple–exactly what you want and need during dry winters. The best time to apply moisturizer is after you shower or bathe, in the morning right after you wake up as well as at night right before you go to bed. Be sure to wash your face and hands thoroughly before applying any moisturizer. If you’re experiencing particularly dry patches on certain areas of your body, apply an extra layer of moisturizer several times throughout the day.

Regulate Your Temperature

The cold, dry winter months force many of us to turn up the heat in our homes and workplaces. While this may comfort your body, it is likely warming up your skin, which means that you’ll start to lose moisture. If your environment is too hot, you’ll start to sweat more than usual, and that moisture will evaporate quickly. Moisture loss is a serious concern when it comes to keeping your skin in excellent condition during the cold season; therefore, try using space heaters instead of turning up the thermostat. Using a space heater when you are cold instead of increasing the temperature throughout your entire home will decrease the likelihood that you will lose moisture through sweat. You may also want to invest in a high-quality blanket to help you stay warm without overheating and thus drying out your skin.

Avoid Rough Materials

One of the biggest (and least recognized) culprits of dry skin is clothing. Certain synthetic clothing materials–such as polyester, rayon, spandex, nylon, acrylic, and acetate–have been known to irritate the skin. Whether or not you have any fabric allergies, synthetic materials could be damaging and drying out your skin. This season, prune your wardrobe of any clothing items that may be damaging your skin. Then, go to your local clothing or thrift store and restock your closet with clothing made of natural fibers such as organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, or wool. Synthetic fabrics may rob your body of moisture and could actually lead to serious skin dryness.

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