If your skin tends to dry and chap during winter, consider altering your skin care regimen. Try these simple tips to safeguard your skin when the weather turns blustery and cold.
Use sunscreen. No matter your age or skin type, sunscreen is vital to protect skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which are emitted year-round. That means skin can be damaged as much on a snowy winter day as on a sunny summer day.
Moisturize. If you don’t use skin moisturizer during the warmer months, consider adding it to your winter regimen. People who already use moisturizers should upgrade to products that provide more protective emollients. Petroleum jelly is an effective, inexpensive skin protectant. Slather it on dry feet and hands at night, and put on thick socks or gloves before going to bed. You’ll be amazed at the results in the morning.
Drink more fluids. Proper hydration is essential for healthy body functions, and your skin is among the first organs to show visible effects of dehydration. It’s important to consider environment, exercise and overall health when determining an individual’s proper fluid intake. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends men consume at least 13 cups of fluid daily and women at least 9 cups.
Shun hot showers. Though it may feel good when the weather cools, prolonged exposure to hot water during showers and baths draws moisture from your skin and washes away protective oils. Using cooler water while bathing helps skin retain moisture and a healthier glow.
With adequate hydration and use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, the skin will be better protected from damage, discoloration, premature wrinkles and even skin cancer, says Dr. Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, Calif.
A careful and consistent skin care routine with products designed for specific skin types gradually can improve the overall health and appearance of the skin, Badreshia-Bansal adds.