You've been diligent about protecting your skin all summer and fall from the damaging effects of the sun. But now that the winter season has arrived, you think you're off the hook. Not so. Your skin care routine should not falter when the first blast of cold air hits; wind and subzero temperatures can also damage your delicate dermis. And even on those cold, cold days, you still need to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Follow our skin-saving guide to keep your skin healthy and hydrated throughout the winter months.
While your body may be bundled up, your face is still vulnerable to the cold, windy weather.
According to Dr. Anne Curtis, a Toronto dermatologist, the winter brings with it a dry and unforgiving environment. "I remind people to reassess what they're doing with their skin and maybe back off a bit," says Dr. Curtis. This could mean using a gentle cleanser on the face or only using your cleanser once a day before bed and simply rinsing with water in the morning. But, she says, only adjust your routine if there is a problem with it.
Depending on your skin type, you may also find the need for a rich, thick moisturizer for the face. Since skin is exposed to the sun all year round, Dr. Curtis recommends a daily moisturizer with sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 15. At night, you can focus more on a treatment cream to help with symptoms like wrinkles or to remove fine lines and spots.
Chapped lips can also be a nuisance in the winter, making it difficult to apply lipstick. "There are a lot of people who need to put on a lip balm every night," says Dr. Curtis.
Hydrate your body
While a hot shower may seem heavenly on a cold morning, it can wreak havoc on your skin by sucking out all the moisture. Use lukewarm water and bath or shower gels instead of soap- and alcohol-based cleansers, which can dry out the skin.
Page 1 of 2 -- Find more winter skin care tips, plus our picks for must-have moisturizing products, on page 2
According to an Oil of Olay survey of 651 dermatologists, the best time to moisturize is when your skin is warm and wet. The company developed Olay Moisturinse In Shower Body Lotion, which you can apply while still in the shower.
For an after-shower solution, gently pat your skin dry with a towel and immediately apply a body lotion to lock in moisture, paying special attention to problem areas such as elbows, knees and heels. For sensitive, acne-prone skin, look for a non-comedogenic product, like Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.
Hands need extra-special care since they are often exposed to the cold more than other body parts. Dr. Curtis recommends a night repair hand cream to relieve chapping.
More winter skin-soothing tips
- Keep lip balm and little tubes of hand lotion in your purse so you can hydrate your lips and hands throughout the day.
- Invest in a humidifier to add some moisture to the air if your house tends to be very dry in the winter.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
Plus, find our picks on the best moisturizing products to keep your skin healthy this winter!
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