Women's Health

by Laurie Wertich

Winter is coming—and with it comes dry air, cold temperatures, and possibly even snow. All of those things can do a number on your skin, but a little preparation can go a long way. As you pull out the winter wardrobe, it’s time to pull out the winter skincare habits, too.

Winter and Skin

The changing seasons can place extra stress on the body and skin. If you brave the outdoor elements, cold, chafing wind can leave your skin dry and cracked. Unfortunately, lounging around indoors isn’t the answer—as indoor air lacks natural moisture. The bottom line—winter is bound to leave your skin feeling a little parched

Before winter robs your skin of moisture, you can launch a counterattack. Here’s how:

Switch from lotion to cream. Creams are more moisturizing than lotions—and therefore, more appropriate for winter. Creams feel heavier on the skin and provide a stronger barrier against water loss. Look for a cream that has more oil content and less water content. Apply it at night before bed for the best chance at keeping your skin soft and supple through the long winter days ahead.

Take shorter showers. It’s tempting to immerse yourself in a long, hot shower—but it will actually serve to dry out your skin. Instead, opt for shorter showers and/or lukewarm baths. Apply a rich cream to your skin afterward—and bundle up.

Go easy on the soap. Pigpen would rejoice in that advice—but we’re not suggesting you forego hygiene. Just switch to a gentle, foaming shower gel and skip the soaps and the alcohol-based cleansers.

Wear sunscreen. You may feel less exposed to the sun during winter, but it’s no time to skip the sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen 365 days per year. Use a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF—higher if you spend a lot of time outside during the winter, and higher yet if you participate in any snow sports because the sun reflects off of the snow.

Wear gloves. Gloves do more than keep your hands warm—they also protect them from the elements. Wear gloves every day during the winter, even if you don’t think you need them. If the skin on your hands becomes chapped, it can crack and get infected. Once you have chapping on your hands, it’s hard to come back from it. Instead, prevent it by wearing gloves. Prevention is key here.

Stay hydrated. Water is one of the most important ingredients for healthy skin. During winter, your skin can lose precious water from the sun, wind, and central heating. Stay hydrated for a healthy body and healthy skin.