Winter weather can cause some major problems for your skin. This year, be prepared to handle common winter skin problems so you can stay radiant all season long. We've got the best tips from skin care expert Celeste Hilling to keep your skin feeling healthy during the winter.
Skin freaks out when it's cold outside
Even if you don't spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, your skin will act up. "Our skin experiences less than 4 percent humidity in artificially heated, recirculated air," says Celeste Hilling, CEO of Skin Authority. In the winter, you're exposed to heated air in a variety of places, from your bedroom to your car. This starts a chain reaction. Your skin becomes dry and chapped, and your sebaceous glands start working in overdrive to compensate. "The oil and debris become trapped in the dry surface layers," says Hilling. "This can lead to breakouts and irritation."
Soothe your skin with healthy habits
If you take action with a healthy skin care plan, you can weather the winter without flare ups. Here's a step-by-step plan to keep your skin protected and smooth.
Cleanse your skin daily. "Avoid the temptation to take hot showers as the heat will further dehydrate skin," says Hilling. Use lukewarm water, a gentle cleanser and a soft facial wash cloth.
Exfoliate gently. "I recommend using a resurfacing agent like glycolic acid," says Hilling. "Commonly derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid gently dissolves dead surface skin cells, instead of peeling or scrubbing, signaling the body to replace them with new, plump ones."
Moisturize after cleansing. At night, use a deeply moisturizing night cream. During the day, don't skimp on sunscreen just because it's cold outside. "Apply a full spectrum, moisturizing sunscreen daily to all exposed skin, which often includes our faces, neck, ears, décolletage, hands and forearms," says Hilling.
Don't forget your body. Your face isn't the only part of your skin prone to winter issues. "Apply a body moisturizer with anti-inflammatory ingredients ([such as] shea butter, aloe, olive oil) as soon as you step out of the shower to seal in moisture," says Hilling.
Stop problems before they start
If you're prone to redness and dryness, fight triggers by making lifestyle changes.
- Drink more water during the day.
- Use a humidifier in the home to combat dry air.
- Wear protective balm when participating in outdoors activities such a skiing.
- Don't exfoliate harshly.
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol intake.