In most of the U.S., winter has set in. As the air gets cooler and drier, it’s time to change up your skin care regime. You want to look for products that either add in moisture, or seal in what’s already present in your skin, rather than stripping it away. To start:
Ten minutes in the shower, tops!
Extra bonus: this will lower your water and heating bills. Yes, that extra hot extra long shower feels good while you’re in there, but the hot water strips away the oils in your skin quickly. When you towel off, the moisture is gone, and your skin feels tight and painful. Dry skin is skin that’s prone to cracking, and cracked skin is painful, and can lead to infection. Extra bonus: this will lower your water and heating bills.
When you do get out of the shower, add a hydrating lotion to your skin care regime. Look for products that contain lactic acid, or oils like olive or jojoba. Massage the lotion in well, before you get out of the steamy bathroom if you can.
Banish the scrubs and washes.
As the weather cools off, switch up your skin care by putting your scrubs and soap-based washes (look for an ingredient called SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate, and avoid it–it’s not going to give you cancer, but there’s a reason it’s also the first ingredient in your dish soap, and that reason sucks for keeping your skin hydrated), and look for cleansing creams instead. Extra bonus: you can switch up your scented products. Choose, for example, scents that make you feel awake and alert in winter, and cozy and relaxed in summer.
Protect your hands and lips.
While most people remember to add a scarf and a coat when it gets chilly, it’s easy to forget gloves and lip balm, which can lead to chapping and cracking on some of our most delicate skin. While it’s easy to grab a lightweight tinted lip balm in warm weather, if you’re going out in the cold, you want one that’s thicker, especially if it’s windy. Alternatively, invest in a cowl or scarf that you can wrap around your nose and mouth; it’ll keep your air a little warmer over all, which lessens coughing from cold air hitting your lungs. Extra bonus: scarves and cowls are awesome and stylish.
If you’re trying to use your skin care heal a complexion that’s already damaged, remember that going hardcore with heavy duty products can be the wrong approach. It is absolutely possible to over strip your skin, then layer on too many products, leading to a complexion that is in overdrive. USA Today discussed the number of people today who self-diagnosis with sensitive skin or a product allergy. If you think either of these things is happening for you, see your doctor, or a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Image from AnnMarieGianni