Winter is here in full force. Whether you are dealing with snow on the East Coast or living in chilly 50-degree weather in Southern California, weather shifts can wreak havoc on your complexion. Your skin is your largest organ, and it requires extra tender, loving care. To combat the drying effects of the colder months, use these tips and strategies to keep your skin feeling and looking its best all winter long.
Talk to a Skin Care Specialist
Working with a skin care professional is the best route for healthy, great-looking skin. There are many options whether you visit a dermatologist or make an appointment with an esthetician. Skin care experts can examine your skin, look for underlying issues that may cause or exacerbate your dry skin condition, and help you find the right products to battle flakiness and irritation caused by winter chap.
If you head to an esthetician, make sure you take advantage of a little self-care; custom facials are a great way to battle dry skin and relax the mind all at once. Estheticians recommend booking an appointment several times a year, especially in months when your skin is facing a more severe environment (we’re looking at you, snowstorms).
Set Up a Skin Care Routine
After you have chatted with your skin care professional, you should have a better idea of the products that work best for your skin and those that you should avoid. It’s essential to set up a daily routine and STICK TO IT! Sorry about the yelling, but diligence is the key to healthy skin.
“But I have dry skin, won’t washing it too much dry it out more?” While it’s true you should prevent over-washing, it’s still important to cleanse, tone, and apply moisturizer to your face every day. Sun exposure is one of the main causes of wrinkles and other skin ailments (read: melanoma), so sunscreen is also an essential facet of a proper skincare routine.
Watch What You Eat
Outer beauty begins from the inside. Are you giving your body the nutrients and hydration it needs to make your skin look its best? When the weather gets chilly, we may drink less water; this can lead to dehydration, which can wreak havoc on your complexion. Make sure you keep a bottle of water close at hand all winter long and stay hydrated—even if temperatures are below zero.
Besides getting your daily amount of H2O, it’s important to keep an eye on your diet. Are you getting enough omega fatty acids each day? Yummy foods like avocados, nuts, and salmon are great for the skin and will help your body rehydrate and provide your skin (and other organs) with the essential nutrients they need for optimal functioning.
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Be Smart When Warming Up
“Cold air makes my skin dry – if I warm up, my skin will be fine!” Unfortunately, this line of thinking is not the case. When the weather gets cold, the temperature inside our homes and offices raises. However, you should be careful to avoid sitting next to an overworked heater or taking a scalding shower. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can strip your skin of its moisture. Take quicker showers, and turn down the thermostat. You don’t have to be extreme and drastically change your grooming habits but you must be smart.
Keep Stress in Check
Stress is a year-round problem. As our winter months are filled with holiday events, work deadlines, and the dreaded tax season, it’s important to take extra measures to keep your stress levels in check. Stress can take a toll on all parts of the body, and your skin is no exception. Practice stress management in the ways that work best for you; for some, that could be in the form of guided meditation, for others it could mean a daily workout.
Check out a new yoga class, sleep in on the weekends, and take a break from work stress when you can – you’ll reap the benefits in the form of a beautiful, hydrated complexion. You don’t have to subject yourself to dry skin in the winter. With a few habit changes, you can have clear, moisturized skin to look your best.