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Winter Skin Care: 5 Essential Tips for the Cold Season

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Winter is a wonderful season. Crisp, chill air, soft snowflakes falling to the ground and cozying up indoors by the warmth of the fire. The anticipated holiday season gets us hyped up for family time and gifts galore. It becomes very easy to forget about the havoc winter wreaks on our skin.

Our skin becomes exposed to various elements throughout the winter that can cause some damage to the top layer of our skin (the epidermis). Most people experience dryness and irritation, itchiness and lackluster skin. The cold, biting winds combined with dry air easily depletes any of the natural moisture and oil our skin maintains and needs to stay hydrated. As our skin become dull, dry and chapped, our lips cracked and flaky, we begin to dream of sunshine and margaritas, not apple cider and snow.

Fortunately, we can weatherproof our skin and maintain soft, supple, radiant complexions. The following are some basic natural winter skin care tips for the winter season to follow that can help prevent winter skin blues.

Natural skin care expert offers these winter skin care tips:

1. Winter Skin Care Regimen

As our skin begins to tighten up and feel dry, it is important that we use products that will restore hydration and compensate for the moisture that the cold weather strips away. Switch your every day cleanser to one that is nourishing and oil-based. The extra oil will restore softness to your skin and keep it from feeling tight after cleansing. Introduce a hydrating serum before applying your moisturizer. A hydrating serum will help boost the hydration your skin will need and also keep it hydrated for longer as serums are more concentrated than moisturizers therefore they work a bit stronger and better. Serums that are rich in omega 3/6/9 fatty acids are a great way to hydrate your skin, reduce inflammation and help prevent dryness. Using a moisturizer that is a bit richer and heavier than your everyday one is a good way to ensure that you trap all the benefits of your cleanser and serum and help maintain hydration throughout the day. This is especially true after bathing and washing. Using hydrating products immediately after showering or washing your face will help lock in moisture and you’ll get more benefits from your products.

2. Say No to Long, Hot Baths

As much as we’d like to soak and defrost in a hot shower, the hot water is actually one of the main causes of dry skin beyond the cold, outside air. Hot water depletes the skin of natural oils and will actually tighten up your skin more. As tempting as a hot bath is, limit the number of hot showers or baths you take, treating yourself to perhaps one a week and using lukewarm or slightly warm water for all others.

3. Exfoliate

While hot baths might be a no-no, exfoliating your skin is a definite yes! Exfoliation will slough away dry, dead skin cells, leaving behind soft, smooth skin that will allow your moisturizer to seep into your skin and keep the hydration intact. Exfoliating your face and body 2-3 times a week with a gentle, non-abrasive scrub will help keep your skin soft and supple. Gently use some exfoliant on your lips as well to not neglect them!

4. Try Out a Body Butter

Lotions and basic body moisturizers are great for everyday. They help keep the skin soft and hydrated. However, for the cold, winter months, a basic lotion doesn’t have the strength to keep the skin soft and comfortable from itchy dryness. Introducing a body butter into your winter skin care regimen is a great way to add the extra moisture our skin needs. Body butters are basically a super-concentration lotion. They contain less water and more butter and essential oils than conventional lotions do making them extra moisturizing. Body butters tend to come in pots or jars as they are quite thick and you’ll have to scoop out and slather it all over. Body butters are great for all skin types as even those with oily skin tend to not have oily skin on their bodies. The butters are especially good for people with sensitive skin as they tend to be made from more natural-based products. Many body butters contain shea butter or cocoa butter with are two ingredients that are superbly nourishing. Body butter melt into your skin, absorb quickly and are excellent for dry patches on the knees and elbow, even heels.

5. Use Lip Balm

We tend to neglect our lips a lot during the winter months leaving they dry, chapped and uncomfortable. Treating our lips is as important as treating our skin and bodies. As one of the first features of our face everyone notices, keeping your lips soft and supple should take some precedence. Our lips only have a thin surface layer of skin and are more susceptible to drying out than the rest of our face. You can lose up to ten-times as much moisture in your lips than anywhere else. There are so many lip balm products available that it can get very overwhelming when choosing. Some are smell medicinal while others come in so many different flavors but don’t really work. It is important to remember that the best ones are those that actually make a difference to the texture of your lips. You should not have to reapply heavily multiple times throughout the day. Rather, the lip balm should play the role of a shield for your lips, protecting them and playing the role of a buffer between staying soft and delicate and protect the lips from the cold, dry air. A good lip balm will keep your lips soft and supple and should be more emollient-based than waxy. The idea is to seal in moisture and get extra hydration. This barrier will in turn seal any cracks and condition your lips at the same time. The best times to apply are in the morning and at night.

6. Invest in a Humidifier

As much as fireplaces and forced-air heating will keep you warm and toasty, they actually deplete your skin of moisture, drying it out instead of keeping it healthy. Investing in a portable humidifier is a great way to replenish your skin. A humidifier will add water vapor to the air, which indirectly helps the skin retain its moisture. The ideal place to keep your humidifier is in your room. You room is where you spend the most amount of time, especially as you sleep (getting 8 hours is essential!). Also, as far as temperature, a warm mist is better than a cool one as it will be closer to the natural temperature of the skin. The best part of having a humidifier on while you sleep is the added winter skin care benefits. Humidifiers soothe dry skin. By morning, you’ll notice softer, supple skin and your hands, feet and lips will also be soft. A huge boost of moisture is exactly what our skin needs to keep it healthy-looking and free of dryness and irritation.

Winter is rough on our skin causing dry, chapped, itchy uncomfortable skin. Fortunately, with a few of these tips and a bit of extra care, your skin can look and feel healthy and soft all winter long.

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