Winters are fun – but not for your skin. Cold weather and the low humidity levels make the air dry and all this steals the moisture away from your skin every second of the day. If proper care is not taken, dry skin can lead to cracking and bleeding. The harsh winter winds can amplify your skin problems. Additionally, the indoor heating systems rob the air of its moisture. Further, hot showers and baths as well as harsh cleansers take a toll on your skin. To combat these effects and keep your skin looking youthful and smooth, you need to do more than mere moisturizing. Here are a few tips to reduce chapping, redness, itching and keep the skin healthy and youthful this winter:

Lukewarm water is the trick: Even though hot showers feel good in winter, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping oil from your skin.

Moisturize immediately: Your skin needs to be moisturized immediately after you wash it. It seals the dampness into the skin. 

Choose your moisturizer carefully: Some of the over the counter moisturizers have petroleum based ingredients that can further dry the skin. Choose moisturizers that have natural nourishing ingredients. Go for oil based rather than water based solutions. It will help your skin retain moisture.

Protect: Wear gloves and scarves to protect your skin from cold wind, rain and snow. Don’t forget the sunscreen – winter sun could be as damaging as the summer sun!
Humidify: Consider installing a humidifier in your home. This prevents the dry air from affecting your skin.

Drink: We tend to turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea during winter – but your skin needs its regular hydration that can be achieved only by drinking lots of water.
Overnight moisturize: Especially at night, use a moisturizer and wear cotton gloves and socks to seal the moisturizer till morning.

Exfoliate: An exfoliating mask is good for the winters. Apply it liberally on your face and hands as well as gently on your lips. You must follow immediately with moisture and truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes could also be useful.

Hydrate from the inside out: It’s a good idea to eat foods that are high in water content. These kinds of food hydrate your skin from the inside out.  Watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Along with this, ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. 

Check your cleanser:  After cleansing, make sure that you don’t leave the skin naked for more than 30 seconds, as this can dehydrate it, leading to increased dryness. Apply a hydrating toner and moisturizer that appropriately seals in moisture.

Other than all of the above, homemade hydrating masks can provide you with the much needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. 

Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration.

Winters are fun – If your skin enjoys them too!

Maryam Collahi is a Vancouver makeup artist and eyebrow specialist offering eyebrows threading, permanent makeup, HD eyebrows & bridal makeup services.

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