For billions of people around the world, the plummeting temperatures and harsh climate associated with winter spell disaster for skin health and appearance. Mother Nature’s fury of cold, dry air has an irritating effect on even the most hearty, resilient complexion and can wreck confidence as easily as it can derail social plans.
Without proper care, repeated exposure to the elements can lead to long-lasting consequences—all of which are preventable given the following suggestions:
Regularly moisturize—although winter skin-care routines are more involved when compared to other seasons, the effort is well worth the results. Dry, cold winter air is the enemy of a smooth, well-hydrated complexion. The key to combating its harsh effects is a good moisturizer, namely an ointment. Ointments are designed to provide a protective layer to the skin—especially those containing humectants. Once you have chosen a reputable moisturizer, make sure to apply it over your entire body for optimal benefit.
Apply sunscreen—people frequently forget that the cold, dry air and heavy cloud cover associated with winter do not prevent damaging UV rays from reaching the skin. In fact, in certain climates, winter sun can be even more damaging due to snow glare, higher elevation and longer exposure. Even if it is snowing out and the air is freezing—never forget to apply a good SPF.
Invest in a humidifier—space heaters and furnaces may seem to provide safe harbor from winter’s frosty grip, but they are actually subtly damaging to skin. Most heaters and furnaces blow hot, dry air which is damaging to skin in the long-run. They gradually deplete moisture and, in some cases, lead to a cracked, scaly complexion. Investing in a quality humidifier helps stave off these undesirable effects and leaves skin feeling moist and rejuvenated.
Hydrate—the human body is primarily composed of water, and for good reason. Multiple body functions depend upon a regular supply of fresh water to operate efficiently and maintain optional health. A lack of water can damage internal organs and dry out the skin, creating a litany of long-term consequences. One of the greatest protections you can give your skin is ample water intake. And best of all—it’s also the least expensive!
Avoid harsh, abrasive facials—facials are indeed a highly popular, luxurious and enjoyable cosmetic trend. But in the harsh, dry winter months, they can actually do far more harm than good—particularly alcohol-based astringents, harsh toners and toxic chemical peels. A healthy alternative to these invasive treatments is using an alcohol free foaming cleaner or cleansing milk. When properly applied, these substitutes help preserve skin moisture and protect against the universally dreaded “winter complexion.”
Avoid scalding showers and baths—in response to freezing weather, it is perfectly natural to want to take a hot shower to counteract the miserable, bone-chilling However, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, doing so has an abrasive effect on skin—breaking down protective lipid barriers and causing widespread loss of moisture. Instead, evidence shows that a lukewarm bath accompanied by oatmeal or baking soda is the optimal solution and won’t subject your skin to corrosive extremes.
- Understand your skin care needs—skin care needs are as individual and particular as dietary preferences and clothing styles. By better understanding your skin type and honoring your unique needs, you can avoid many rookie mistakes and achieve excellent long-term results when you need them most.
- Use honey—honey is undoubtedly one of Mother Nature’s greatest healing balms. This sticky, amber-colored delight harvested from colonized bees can help smooth the complexion while softening dry patches and repairing reducing bumpy, irregular skin. Regular topical application can also help reduce inflammation and increase skin-wide circulation.
Maintain a healthy, nutritious diet—one frequently overlooked factor involved in impeccable skin care is maintaining a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. As the body’s single largest organ, skin health and appearance are directly linked to dietary intake. Although some people’s skin seems immune to the reactive, inflammatory effects of a processed, unnatural diet, in reality, it always exacts a toll. Eating organic, non-processed and (artificial) sugar-free foods can all help ensure a healthy, vital glow and even during the harsh, barren winter.
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