How to Care for Skin in Winter: Do’s & Don’ts

The harsh cold outdoors and dry indoors in Winter may not be a favorite season for our skin. It dries out moisture from the skin and led to many skin conditions and infections. Have anyone taught you how to care for skin in winter? If not, here we are with the best tips and home remedies for skin care in winter. The guide will help you protect your skin from dryness, redness, itchiness, and other skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, and chilblains that are highly possible in the winter. 

Wonder why it happens? Naturally, our skin attracts moisture from the environment to keep itself hydrated. As winter comes with less humid levels, the skin does not get enough moisture and becomes dehydrated, leading to dry skin. Dry skin is more prone to skin infections and skin conditions.

skin dryness

The things you love to do in winter can also become a threat to your skin. You may want to sit on fire in the evenings but sadly it can dry your skin faster thus creating skin breakouts. Even a hot shower you take to warm up the body can also affect the skin as the hot water takes out the natural oils in the skin.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can keep your skin healthy and supple in all seasons. It involves small changes to your lifestyle like food, exercise, and others. 

Let’s look into effective tips on how to care for skin in winter.

How to Care for Skin in Winter: Tips & Remedies

Yes, we all accept, winter skincare takes extra effort and time because of the extreme weather conditions and changes that affect our tender skin barrier. It makes skin exposed to harsh elements like cold air and snow. 

While low humidity outside steals moisture from the skin, dry heated indoors joins to worsen the skin conditions. So it is common for our skin to become itchy and flaky. But if you let the dryness untreated it eats up the skin and creates cracks that lead to bleeding.

The skin conditions like chilblains occur with high exposure to cold and less moisture in the skin. Fortunately, there are home remedies for chilblains but not all skin conditions have a cure. It is better to avoid them in the first place with the proper skincare routine.

1) Keep the body moisture: No hot showers!

Try to keep what you have. Our skin produces natural oils that protect it and keep it healthy. It is better to avoid deep long hot showers and not wash the body too often. Use lukewarm water, not hot water. Although it is tempting to get hot showers, to keep healthy skin you have to avoid it. Hot showers or baths dry the skin quickly and remove all natural oils from it. If you do not moisturize the skin immediately, skin tends to develop cracks and winter eczema.

After a warm water bath or shower, wipe off and apply a moisturizer to your damp skin. It prevents dryness and keeps the moisture barrier intact. 

Pro Tip: Use moisturizers that contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

2) Keep the home moisture: Stay warm!

Have the best humidifier to fight dryness indoors. Choose the right type like a portable or tabletop model that suits your home and existing heating system. It restores moisture to the air which helps your skin to take enough moisture to stay hydrated.

Place the humidifiers in the home where you spend the most time. Either you can keep it running overnight while sleeping or use a humidity meter to find the humidity level of your house.

Pro Tip: Make sure the humidity level of the humidifier is between 30% and 50%.

3) Add moisture to the body: Drinks and Foods!

Drink enough water and have the right food to add moisture from the inside out. It will hydrate skin and keep risks at bay. There may not be drastic effects from this but it keeps you healthy. Consuming fluids like water, juices, soups, and milk in winter is one of the best remedies you can do to avoid dryness. Not needed, still, there are many studies and research proving people who got skin dehydration improved their conditions by drinking plenty of water.

Keeping the right water level in the body is important to boost sebum production. The right sebum level is critical for skin health. About the food, it is best to avoid processed foods and sugars. Prefer whole foods that contain essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E, minerals, and fatty acids. 

Consume a lot of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Some of the winter fruits that are rich in antioxidants and the above-mentioned nutrients are:

  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Banana

Pro Tip: Berries are sources of antioxidants that can be consumed all year. Gooseberry, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries, all are good for skin care.

You can also accommodate your diet with healthy supplements. Organic herbal supplements give you benefits of natural ingredients your body needs that you are not accessible to buy. These are wholesome herbal remedies that alleviate current conditions and also prevent them from coming back.

Some of the best herbal supplements for general skin health are:

If you often get skin infections and survive with skin lesions here we have the best supplements for you.

Ayurveda and Siddha medicines are worlds two of the most traditional and old medicine systems that still benefit mankind. These two have solutions for all our health ailments. Below are some of the best Ayurveda supplements for all skin conditions from redness, dryness, itching, eczema, allergies, to other skin diseases.

4) Apply Sunscreen: Sun never takes a day off!

Winter is just cold, it does not mean it restricts sun rays to touch your skin. The UV rays are still present in the winter that can hit you from snow reflection at different angles, unlike in other seasons. As we know UV rays are linked with skin cancer, premature aging, and sunburn, it is better not to take risks but to use sunscreen regularly.

Never skip sunscreen thinking it is only gray outside. A study shows that 80% of UV rays can pass the clouds and cause skin damage.

Before you go outside or even indoors, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or high water resistance and essential ingredients.

According to a cancer study, broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains lanolin or glycerin on exposed areas of the body protects it from UV rays.

Pro Tip: A sunscreen lotion with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide is great for the skin.

5) Use an Oil-based Moisturizer: Your skin loves it!

As your skin goes through too much moisture and oil evaporation, use an oil-based moisturizer in the winter. Look for ingredients such as shea butter, petrolatum, and squalene in the cream as it seals moisture with a protective layer on the skin. 

Try overnight deep moisturizer treatment that helps moisturize specific areas that are prone to cold air like hands, toes, lips, and bone areas. Apply the moisturizer and cover the areas with gloves and socks to maintain moisture all night.

The moisturizer for the face with moisturizing humectants such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid allows facial skin to breathe and prevent acne. For the rest of the body, use thick moisturizing creams.  

Aside from switching moisturizers, you may also want to check on your existing skin products especially if your skin is itchy or dry. Look for creams that contain retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids and keep them away until winter overs. Because it can worsen the condition and leads to a sign of irritant dermatitis. You can use those products again once the skin is healed.

Pro Tip: For dry skin skip products that have alcohol and fragrances as it helps retain the skin’s natural oils.

6) Opt for Gentle Cleansers: Change for the better!

If your regular cleanser contains drying contents such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid, it is better to find another body wash or cleanser with more moisturizing ingredients. It is indeed if you feel your skin is too dry in winter than other times. 

To avoid dehydration, use toner and moisturizer within 30 minutes after cleansing. 

According to dermatologists, bar soaps with high pH levels can increase dryness by removing natural oils from the skin and affecting the microbiome.

For dry skin, use body washes that are specially made for sensitive skin and free from dye and fragrance. It often includes moisturizing ingredients like oils, oats, shea butter, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

Pro Tip: If your cleanser produces too much foam, it means the pH levels are high. Use a cleanser that balances your skin’s pH levels.

7) Take Extra Care: A little extra!

If you have skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, winter skin is more fragile. Make sure you clear allergens or irritants out of your routine to not aggravate your conditions. 

Next will be clothing. You have to wear comfortable, appropriate and non-irritating clothes. Even the cold weather fabrics out there can aggravate skin dryness. 

To avoid irritation and itchiness on dry skin, stay away from wool and rough clothing. Instead, prefer light clothes that are made of soft materials like silk or cotton as the first layer and then put on heavy or warmer sweaters. Be sure clothing is not too tight.

Don’t forget to cover your hands and toes. Wear gloves or mittens and socks to keep warm.

Pro Tip: If you find woolen socks or gloves irritating, switch them with leather ones.

Same as sunscreen, also do not leave sunglasses at home when you are leaving outside. The glare from the sun through snow can irritate the skin around the eyes which develops fine lines, brown spots, and more. So wear wide-armed UV-protected sunglasses when you step outside.

Finally, have a routine!

You don’t need a special process. Follow a basic and simple skincare routine that suits your skin type and conditions. If you don’t have one, follow the below steps.

  • Cleanse your skin one or two times a day. It can be in the morning and at night before bed.
  • After washing the face in the morning, apply a daily moisturizer.
  • At night, apply a heavy or thick moisturizer or overnight cream.

It is an easy routine that you can do for damp skin and keep it healthy.

Do exercises. It may be hard to get out of a warm bed and do actions in the winter mornings. But if it benefits you, why not? Exercise will boost blood circulation, regulate heart rate, and pump enough blood to organs.

During cold times, the sweat and oil glands in the body and blood vessels block a little. It becomes hard for skin to keep warm, hydrated, and glow. With the above routine, you can keep it healthy.

How to choose the best moisturizer for winter?

We have discussed a lot about why moisturizer is important and how it interacts with skin care during winter. Now, let’s see what to look for in a winter moisturizer.

1] Heavy Base

If you need to choose a skin moisturizer for winter, pick a heavy cream-based moisturizer as it keeps the skin moist for a long time. It prevents irritation and itchiness. Check if your moisturizer has antioxidants and heavy emollients to treat dryness better.

For acne-prone skin, find skin care products that are non-comedogenic and for greasy skin, it is better to stick with light moisturizer as your skin already processing too much oil.

2] SPF

We all like to be warm under the sun during the winter season. Though you did not feel it, the sun rays still cause damage to the skin. A moisturizer with an SPF of 30 is suggested to use in cold times of the year.

3] Ceramides

Ceramides prevent losing moisture from the skin. They create a protective layer on the skin surface thus inhibiting environmental aggressors from affecting the skin.

4] Antioxidants

Antioxidants prevent free radical damage and its reactions including premature aging. It also soothes skin and keeps it supple.

Final Words!

Not only dry skin, but all skin types also need nourishment during winter. We should follow a proper skincare routine to keep our skin moisturized, hydrated, and healthy. If you can’t figure out what will be right for your skincare, make use of our above guide on how to care for skin in winter.

Never forget that moisturizing the skin, staying warm, eating well, and doing exercises are important in health care including for the skin. However, even after following the above tips and remedies, if you still got redness, dryness, or feel discomfort, you should seek medical advice from a dermatologist and get proper medical treatment.

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