Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Keeping Skin Hydrated In Winter


Living in northern Alaska, I am well aware that winter weather tends to dry out the skin, both face and body.  I keep running out of my body lotion so I'm always picking up more. For most of us, when our skin dries out in the winter, we automatically head for the store to get body lotion but there are other things we can do in conjunction with the lotion to keep our skin hydrated.

Our skin dries out during the winter when we are outside because the cold wind hits our skin or the sun's rays reflect off the snow and inside from the warm dry air of the heating system.  When our skin dries out, it becomes flaky and itchy and if we don't do anything about it, the skin can crack and bleed. So instead of waiting for it to happen, do what you can to prevent it.

Think about keeping the temperature of your house cooler during winter because the higher the temperature in the house, the dryer the air becomes.  It is recommended the house be kept between 68 and 75 so the air isn't as dry.

One of the first things to do is to keep any moisture you have in the skin.  Our body produces a certain level of natural oils that can be preserved by avoiding long, hot baths, or showers, and cut back on the frequency of showers.  When you do take a bath or shower, use warm, not hot water and pat yourself dry when you are done. The rule of thumb is that if you have red skin when you finish your shower, the water is too hot, so lower the temperature. 

Furthermore, use a body wash since it is less drying in the winter than bar soap. The body wash should be fragrance free, dye free, or for sensitive skin and then read the ingredients looking for things like hyaluronic, ceramides, shea butter, oils, or oats. Finish your routine by moisturizing your damp skin for maximum benefit.

Instead of relying only on the hot air from your heater, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air because your body will absorb it and make it healthier.  The humidifier could be a table top model or something bigger depending on whether you want moisture throughout the house or only in your area but you want to keep the humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. If you aren't sure of the humidity levels, you can purchase a humidity monitor for not much from Amazon.  Don't be afraid to run it all night to keep the moisture levels up.

Remember the rule about drinking so much water during the day?  That still applies in the winter because you need to hydrate your body from the inside too. Furthermore, be sure to wear sunscreen when you go outside because of the UV rays from the sun.  Since the rays are bouncing off the snow, you are being hit from more angles than if you are on bare land.

When you buy lotion in the winter, make sure it is an oil based one since it is more effective at hydrating skin.  You might even consider using a deep moisturizing treatment at night for your hands and feet.  Put the treatment on and cover with gloves or socks to help keep the moisture in for better results.  

In addition, check your facial cleaner to make sure it contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid serum. If your cleanser has glycolic or salicylic acid in it, look at temporarily changing to a more moisturizing cleanser so you don't dry your skin out. Furthermore, check out all skin care products for AHA's or retinal because they can cause skin irritations.  

Remember, with just a bit of work, you'll have wonderful skin all winter long. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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