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6 Winter Skin Care Tips

Posted by Ashley Greer
winter skin care tips

Winter is a particularly difficult season for your skin. Outdoor weather in the winter is harsh, and wind and cold temperatures take a toll on your skin. Indoor climate control can be overly drying, and constantly transitioning between the two temperature extremes puts extra strain on your delicate skin. Winter can also be a stressful time of year, with lots of parties and holiday activities, and many people are prone to winter blues. All these factors can work together to make your skin look dull and dry, or red and inflamed. It's important to take extra precautions with your skin in the wintertime, to protect it and look your best.

Here are essential winter skin care tips for everyone:

Wear sunscreen. Just because it's winter, doesn't mean that the sun's rays aren't still damaging to the skin. UVA rays not only penetrate clouds in the sky, but windows in your home, so they can reach and damage deep layers of your skin all year long. A sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection is essential all year long.

Use moisturizer. Winter is especially drying on the skin, so daily moisturizing is important. During the day, a moisturizer with sunscreen can do double-duty, but remember to re-apply it during prolonged exposure. Moisturize again at night to give your skin time to absorb the nutrients. If you are prone to dry skin, you may want to boost your moisture routine by adding a skin nourishing serum.

Wash in lukewarm water. Temperature extremes aren't good for the skin, and the winter season is particularly stressful for that reason. Extreme temperature shifts irritate the skin, and can even lead to broken blood vessels. Using lukewarm water to wash your face helps to clean the skin and even out the tone, without adding more harshness and stress.

Stay hydrated. Like sunscreen, hydration is a must year-round. During winter, many people neglect drinking as much water as they should, because their impulse is to drink hot beverages like coffee and cocoa. But winter weather has less humidity and more skin drying effects, and you can't have healthy skin without adequate water, providing moisture from the inside out. Try drinking warm or hot water with a squeeze of lemon to keep your hydration on track in cold weather. 

Reduce exfoliation. Exfoliation is important, but in the winter, when skin is already so prone to stress and irritation, it's easy to go overboard. Use milder scrubs, reduce frequency to only once or twice a week, and focus on treating your skin gently.

Stay on track with healthy eating. Not only can holidays and seasonal events throw off your healthy eating habits, but we instinctively stock up on warm, rich, comfort food in colder months. While over-indulgence is natural in winter, make sure to keep your diet varied and include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to nourish your skin. Consider adding a Vitamin D supplement to maintain your health and provide energy during months of reduced sun exposure. In northern climates, even if your skin is exposed to winter sunlight regularly, the sun doesn't have enough UVB rays for natural vitamin D production.

Winter is a good time to pamper your skin instead of punishing it, so reduce harsh scrubs, hot water, and drying toners, and focus on gentle products, healing moisture, and moderate temperatures. Consider treating yourself to a facial or skin care treatment to counteract winter's harsh effects and keep your glow all year long.

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