With winter steadily creeping in it means the next few months are ideal (in most parts) for snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or even skating. But it’s important to remember that cool air and icy winds can also dry out our skin from head to toe. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you sport glowing soft winter skin while enjoying your favourite festive cold weather activities.
1. Be Sun Smart
Sunscreen isn’t just for beautiful beach days. People aren’t always aware that it’s beneficial to be wearing a sunscreen during chilly winter days when it’s a bright outside. With thanks to factors such as V-reflecting snow and sweating it’s important to be sun smart. Slather on a mineral-based, sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 30. If it’s possible, use a winter designed sunscreen with moisturising ingredients such as glycerin or lanolin.
2. Humble Humidifiers
Scaly skin and cracked lips. To make matters worse, these conditions are generally provoked by the drying effects of indoor or central heating. Hook up your humidifier for a simple solution that can provide much-needed moisture to the air in your office or home.
3. Ditch Damp Socks & Gloves
Whether you’re planning on shovelling snow or hitting the slopes, soggy socks and mittens are a no-no! Cold, damp clothes can irritate the most sensitive of skin and can cause unwanted eczema flare-ups. Keep a pair of spare gloves or mittens on hand in case the ones you are wearing get soggy.
4. Shorten Steamy Showers
We know nothing beats a long, steamy bath on a chilly night. Unfortunately, hot water can dry out our skin further by drawing out its natural oils. For a hydrated glow, shower or bathe once per day for no longer than 10 minutes and preferably use lukewarm water. If your skin is irritated or itchy, consider adding finely ground oats. They act as a natural moisturiser, cleanser, and buffer.
5. Be Gentle
We now know dry or sensitive skin can be affected by the colder temperatures. So it’s an idea to be a little more cautious about the products you decide to use. To avoid aggravating winter woes, kick out harsh toners, soaps, and exfoliators. Simplify your skin care routine and go for a fragrance-free, mild, cleanser or soap such as Castile.
6. Write Off Windburn
A winter breeze may feel refreshing when you’re flying down the slopes but no one wants wind-roughened, peeling skin. When outdoors, we all have to be careful about the dangers of windburn and even frostbite. When windburn occurs, peeling is an unpleasant but necessary natural part of the healing process; however, it’s possible to ease irritation by applying a cooling aloe vera moisturiser or cream liberally and frequently.
7. Healthy Hydration
Hydration is certainly a no-brainer when exercising in summer, but ice cold water can be less appealing at this time of year. Nevertheless, it’s extremely important to drink plenty of water all year round to nourish our skin. Especially when you are exercising. Any activity that causes sweating, require us to rehydrate often. Avoid the post-ski beer, as drinking alcohol causes dehydration.
8. Help Your Hands
As it may be, no other body part shows the wear and tear of winter life more than our hands. In an attempt to avoid coughs and colds we also wash our hands frequently with harsh soaps, hot water and antibacterials. Be gentle on dry hands, and wash with warm (not hot scalding) water. Consider scrubbing only between the fingers and the palms of your hands if your knuckles appear red or chapped. For extra softening, try applying an oil-based moisturiser throughout the day.
9. Love Your Lips
Hands aren’t the only part of us that can benefit from some winter weather TLC. A nourishing lip balm works a treat against windburn and sun damage, which can also cause cold sores in outdoor enthusiasts. Look for sun-protective, natural, products to pamper your pucker.
10. Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise!
The most efficient time to moisturise is after you take a shower or bath. Apply a layer of moisturiser over gently towel dried skin that is still a slightly damp to really seal in moisture.
For soft glowing skin on and off the slopes, moisturise dry areas such as the hands and face two to three times throughout the day. It’s recommended to choose an oil-based ointment without fragrances, dyes, or other chemicals for the gentlest care.