The winter season can be tough on your skin. The cold air and super hot showers are drying out your skin, and although many may think that overcast days means no need for sunscreen, the sun's rays are still damaging your skin. We have rounded up 3 tips on how your skin can make it through winter without looking dry and dull.
Always use sunscreen
Sun damage is the number one cause of premature skin aging! Even on cold, overcast days, 80% of UV rays still filter through the clouds. Also be aware that snow is extremely reflective, so yes, you can get a sunburn while skiing! Always remember to apply a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen to these areas, and repeat every 2-3 hours:
- Face - particularly the Nose, Cheekbones, and Lips
- Chest and Décolleté
- Tops of Hands and Ears
- Back of Neck
Avoid super hot showers to minimize dry, irritated skin
Nothing beats the feeling of a hot shower when the weather is cold, especially if you have been enjoying outdoor winter activities. But applying intense heat breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to moisture loss. Use lukewarm water when bathing instead, and apply a body moisturizer immediately afterward. Dr. Kaplan recommends to his patients to use a moisturizer that is free of sulfates and petroleum jelly, and instead, look for products that contain hydrating ingredients like shea butter, squalane (derived from olives), hyaluronic acid and essential oils from lavender, argan, and acai.
Avoid harsh facial scrubs
Dr. Kaplan recommends using a gentle facial scrub to avoid skin irritation. It is like brushing your teeth, it is better to use a soft-bristle toothbrush more frequently, than a harsh bristle toothbrush once a day. Skin does not need to be scraped off using harsh abrasives, or sanitized with alcohol, to achieve a smoother surface. This is particularly true for lips, which are covered by a delicate layer of skin. When using and buying a facial scrub look for gentle facial scrubs with ingredients like fruit enzymes, oatmeal and finely ground date seeds to slough away dead skin cells. By using harsh chemical peels or scrubs with large abrasive particles (i.e. sugar, salt, apricot shells), it unnecessarily irritates and abrades the skin.
For your lips, please do NOT use lip scrubs that contain salt or sugar particles to scrape off dead skin. This will only cause irritation, and in many cases, more patchy, dry skin. Instead, look for gentle lip masks that dissolve away flaky dry skin with ingredients like Papaya Enzymes. The skin is very delicate, and a gentle exfoliant goes a long way in creating soft, healthy, radiant skin.
Avoid alcohol based toner
Alcohol-based toners can irritate and dry out your skin. Toners which contain alcohol as an ingredient strip the skin of all essential oils, leaving it very tight, red and dry. The result, your body starts producing more sebum, which gives skin a greasy appearance and leads to more blackheads and acne flare-ups. Look for hydrating or clarifying toners that are alcohol-free, and contain mild astringents such as witch hazel, rosewater and aloe vera. Any added hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or essential oils are a plus.