The condition of our skin is so important to the way we feel. Unfortunately, in the winter skin can become dry, dull and even uncomfortable given all the time spent indoors with forced-air heating. If you want soft, glowing and gorgeous skin, consider incorporating some of the following tips to keep your skin healthy and happy all winter long.
1. Run a humidifier or vaporizer.
Running a humidifier in your home will keep the moisture content in the air high. It’s especially helpful to have one going in your bedroom throughout the night. It will help to soothe dry skin, and in the morning you’ll notice that your face looks more supple and your hands and lips won’t feel dry and dehydrated either.
2. Eat hydrating fruits and vegetables.
During the winter months we naturally gravitate toward warming foods. Often these foods aren’t in their raw, fully hydrated state. Throughout the winter months, make an effort to have at least one raw meal per day. Load up on fruits and vegetables with high water content, including apples, pears, grapes, citrus, and leafy greens. If a green smoothie doesn’t sound appealing on a cold winter’s morning, then consider a large, raw salad for your midday meal. Reach for hydrating fruits and vegetables as snacks and you’ll be hydrating form the inside out.
3. Minimize your time in a hot bath or shower.
I know, there’s nothing more luxurious than a hot bath after a long day or a few extra minutes spent in your morning shower. Unfortunately, all that hot water wreaks havoc on your skin. Minimize your time spent in hot water, (including hot tubs at the gym), or compromise by keeping the water lukewarm for a longer soak. If a long soak in a bathtub filled with hot water isn’t up for negotiation, replace some the lost moisture from your skin by moisturizing with a good-quality cream or oil. Consider a water filter to remove chemicals from your water, which contribute to the dryness of your skin. You can also add some essential oil or coconut oil to your bath water for an extra hydrating boost.
4. Exfoliate your body, face and lips.
The process of exfoliating relieves the body of dry, dull skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the epidermis. By removing these dead skin cells, pores are kept from becoming clogged and the skin is left feeling refreshed and clean. With regular skin cleansing, exfoliate once or twice a week. Consider the area you are exfoliating, and use a gentler product on your face and lips than you would on your body. You can begin the process of exfoliating by dry body brushing, which will help circulation, support your lymphatic system for better detoxification, and allow moisturizers you apply to penetrate your skin better.
5. Use oil to moisturize your body.
During the winter months skin benefits from the application of oils, particularly if you live in extremely cold climates with considerable snowfall and wind. Coconut and jojoba oil are wonderful for the skin. You can apply oil to your skin after your regular moisturizer for a deep conditioning treatment, on its own after a bath, or when you’re ready to go to sleep for the night.
6. Hydrate from the inside out by drinking lots of water.
The body is largely made up of water, and water is essential for various body systems to work at their best. One of the best ways to support yourself, your health and your skin is to drink water throughout the day. Your level of physical activity and how much water-rich food you’re eating daily impact the amount of water you require per day. Use your activity level and diet to inform you as to how much water you need to feel fully hydrated. Warming herbal teas can also add to your total intake of water for the day.
7. Deep condition feet and hands.
Our hands and feet seem especially susceptible to becoming dry and damaged during the winter months. Give them the extra attention they need with a deep conditioning treatment on the weekend when you may have more time for self-care. Provide deep moisturizing to these areas by slathering them with a thick, rich, clean (meaning chemical free) moisturizer and then a layer of coconut or jojoba oil. Cover these areas with cotton socks and mitts and head to bed for the night. In the morning your hands and feet will be feeling softer and healthier.
8. Use hydrating masks and moisturizers.
Provide extra moisturizing to your face by exploring options for hydrating masks. You can explore the option of products form your favorite brand or explore making your own. Avocado and olive oil or honey and Greek yogurt make good combination, and provide an extra layer of protection for your skin from the harsh elements of winter. Always apply moisturizers to your face. A lighter moisturizer during the day, under your makeup if wear it, and a heavier one at night. Experiment with adding a layer of oil over your night moisturizer for added hydration.
BY TRISH ALLAN