How to fight dry, chapped skin this season
Skin care can get tricky in the winter. After all, outdoor activities in cold and windy weather can take a toll on your skin – skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, hot tubbing – just to name a few. Your skin is in and out of conditions guaranteed to create chapping.
How do you fully immerse yourself in the joy of winter’s wonders without ending up with stinging, tender and wind-burned skin?
Here are My 5 Top Skin Care Tips to Protect your Skin this Winter:
1. Cover as much of your skin as possible with mufflers, gloves, goggles, scarves, and ski masks.
This trick will envelope your skin in warmth and humidity which are sure ways to protect from chapping.
Be creative and try to cover as much skin as you can. Splurge and buy what you need or be inventive with scarfs, beanies and mufflers. Use functional gloves so you’re not tempted to remove them when you need a good grip.
2. Moisturize with deeply-hydrating skin creams and butters.
This is not a time of year to be fussy about the feel of moisturizer on your skin. You need a rich and occlusive product that traps moisture in your skin.
Look for ingredients like botanical oils, shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and even lanolin if you are not allergic to wool. Apply moisturizer after every washing or showering of your skin – hands, face, arms and legs all need moisturizer after every cleansing and even in between if your skin is starting to chap.
Moisturizers work best when applied within 3 minutes after toweling dry
3. Avoid the use of harsh soaps and steamy hot water when you bathe and wash your skin.
It’s tempting to take really hot showers after being out in the cold. But think about how much more effective hot water is at getting greasy pots and pans clean than cold water!
The same is true for your natural skin oils. They are lost more easily when you shower and bathe in hot water. Enjoy your hot tub, but shower in warm water. Apply your moisturizer right after toweling dry.
4. Use only mild cleansers for bathing and skin cleansing during the winter.
Avoid harsh soaps. Chose naturally-made soaps created from botanical oils that have retained natural glycerin, a byproduct produced during soap-making.
Glycerin soaps are another option. You can also chose a SYNDET which stands for synthetic detergent. These are the sensitive skin products that are pH balanced.
Avoid sodium laurel sulfate SYNDETS, however. Cleanse only the parts that really need it including the face, chest, and upper back which are oily. Also cleanse skin folds including arm pits and groin. Cleanse your feet too. The rest of your skin is often sufficiently cleansed with the rinsing of lather from washing these areas.
5. Use hydrocortisone ointment at the first signs of chapping.
This is non-prescription. You can apply it twice daily to speed healing. If skin fails to improve, see your dermatologist. Don’t scratch if skin chapping becomes itchy because that can lead to worsening of the rash and even infection.
Know that there are side effects to the use of topical hydrocortisone which include skin thinning. It also may not be safe to use on the face near the eyes – which makes physician supervision even more important.
Want more of the latest skin care tips?
My favorite products for winter skin care include:
All Natural Body Butter Cream (naturally rich in botanical hydration formulated in a natural base)
Booster Oils (healing oils for facial skin, use alone or mix with your moisturizer to boost hydration)
Hand Care Kit (everything you need for chapped hands: gentle cleanser, protective hand cream and deeply healing night treatment loaded using Bag Balm)
Dry Skin Hand Cream (best skin cream to prevent chapping)