Winter skin care 101

Winter skin care 101

Tips to soothe and soften

We may be getting close to springtime, but many of us are still dealing with winter air and whipping winds that dry out our bodies from head to toe. Here are some tips to help you sport soft, glowing skin.

1. Be sun savvy

Sunscreen isn’t just for balmy beach days. In fact, our skin may be more susceptible to sunburns on the mountain than on the beach. Before heading outdoors, slather on a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If possible, use a winter-specific sunscreen with moisturizing ingredients like lanolin or glycerin.

2. Use a humidifier

Cracked lips, scaly skin and itchy scalps are often aggravated by the drying effects of central heating. Hooking up your humidifier is a simple solution that can add much-needed moisture to the air in your home or office.

3. Ditch wet socks and gloves

Keep spare mitts on hand in case the ones you’re wearing get wet. Alternatively, wear a pair of breathable cotton gloves beneath a pair of waterproof gloves for added warmth and protection.

4. Take shorter showers

Unfortunately, hot water can dry out our skin by sapping its natural oils. For a healthy, hydrated glow, shower or bathe once per day for no more than 10 minutes, and use lukewarm water. If skin is itchy or irritated, consider adding finely ground oats—a natural cleanser, moisturizer and buffer—to your bathwater.

5. Be gentle

To avoid aggravating winter woes, kick harsh soaps, toners and exfoliators to the curb. Simplify your skin care routine and opt for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser or soap like castile.

6. Ward off windburn

Outdoor sports enthusiasts need to bundle up with protective clothing like hats, scarves and gloves. When windburn does occur, peeling is an unpleasant but natural part of the healing process; however, you can ease irritation by applying cooling aloe vera liberally and frequently.

7. Drink up

It’s important to drink plenty of water year-round to nourish our skin—especially when exercising. Any activity that causes sweating will require us to rehydrate often. Skip the post-ski beer, though, as drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration.

8. Help your hands

Perhaps no body part shows the wear and tear of winter activities more than our hands. In an attempt to steer clear of colds and flu, we may also wash our hands frequently with harsh soaps and hot water. Be gentle on dry, hurting hands, and wash with warm—not scalding—water.

9. Love your lips

A nourishing lip balm is essential to ward off windburn and sun damage, which can also trigger cold sores in outdoor athletes.

10. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

It can’t be repeated enough—moisturizer is a must during winter. For soft skin, moisturize dry areas like the face and hands two to three times a day. Choose an oil-based ointment without alcohol, fragrances, dyes or other chemicals for the safest, gentlest care.

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