Are you living in a cold winter climate? If so, chances are you may be suffering from itchy, dry winter skin. Whether you live in the cold northern climates with freezing winds and low temperatures in the winter or in the warmer regions where all the humidity seems to disappear during winter months, your skin needs special care just to keep its health and youthful appearance. There is nothing like dry skin with flaking and itching to add years to your age that you didn’t even earn. You don’t need expensive cosmetics and creams to keep the winter at bay. Here are a few inexpensive and very effective ways to take care of winter skin.
Start with cleaning your face. Hot water just dries it out even more, so you can wash with warm water and avoid strong face wash. While it is important to exfoliate your skin, baking soda or sugar work well and don’t contain any other ingredients.
Once your face is clean, you can apply a moisturizer. If you buy an over-the-counter moisturizer, be sure to read the label and avoid brands that contain petroleum-based products. These will have the opposite effect and actually dry your face more.
You could use expensive moisturizing oils such as lavender or jojoba, but simple coconut oil is considered a top moisturizer for skin and hair. It only takes a tiny amount and you can warm it in your hands before applying it to your face. Leave it on for five minutes then wipe off any excess with a tissue. You won’t believe how soft and smooth your skin will feel.
If you must continue a regimen of masks, facials and peels, avoid the ones that strip oil from your skin such as alcohol-based astringents and toners. Find mild, foaming cleansers, toners that are alcohol-free, cleansing milk and hydrating masks. Even these mild treatments should not be used frequently.
Home remedies are often even more effective than purchased ones and an egg yolk or oat mask will moisturize your skin.
• One egg yolk
• One teaspoon each of milk powder and honey
• Mix together and apply to your face
• Leave it on for 20 minutes, then wash off with warm, not hot, water
For the oat mask, just add one cup of cooked oats to the above.
Drinking enough water seems to be the cure for many things these days and healthy skin is no exception. Drinking enough water is not a treatment for dry skin, but it will help your overall health, skin included. During the winter, you may not feel the need to stay hydrated, but dehydration doesn’t recognize seasons.
Your hands have a tendency to have dry skin throughout the year because they have fewer oil glands. During the winter, even in warmer regions, you may want to wear gloves when you go outside. Make sure the gloves are dry, and if they are wool, you can wear a thin cotton pair next to your skin before putting on the wool gloves.
If you want to apply a cream on your hands at night, the same rule applies to moisturizing your hands as your face. Use a cream that doesn’t have petroleum products.
Just as hot water isn’t good for your face, it is also not good for your whole body during the winter. A long, hot soak may feel great, but can seriously dry out your skin. If you insist on a long soak, make the water warm, not hot, and add baking soda or oatmeal to help stop dry skin and relieve itching. Some bath salts and oils may be petroleum-based and not help dry skin. If you have a rash or severe itching, you should see a dermatologist, because it may be more than dry skin and require a prescription cream.
Sunscreen is a year-round remedy for sun damage that can lead to dry skin. It’s best to apply it a half an hour before you go outdoors and, if you stay outside for hours, keep reapplying it.
Dry skin is a common problem during the winter. It can be the precursor of fine lines and wrinkles as well as leave the skin vulnerable to other diseases. Following these easy and inexpensive tips will help your skin to stay softer and more moisturized all winter long. Healthy, soft skin doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
Until next time!