When the necessary evil known as winter rears its icy head and cruises like a one horse open sleigh for an average of two months, you simply cannot afford to not be up to the task. You have to be firing on all cylinders, and in one key cylinder, your skin does not suffer while you shovel snow off your front lawn. This infamous season might not tear you apart the way it did Jack Torrance in The Shining, but you can count on it to scratch the literal surface if you don’t adopt the right measures.
Of course, the literal surface is your skin.
The coldest season of the year typically comes with a lot of baggage; winter does not go easy on anybody’s skin. If anything, skin dryness and itchiness is not uncommon. We don’t know exactly how it would play out amidst this global pandemic, but it is best to be prepared ahead of time. So, here are a few hacks for maintaining the texture of your skin during winter.
- Body Lotion/Moisturizer
Before George R.R Martin completes The Winds of Winter and unleashes a much longer, colder winter on the world than we saw in the maligned final season of Game of Thrones, you should take your lotion usage a notch higher.
Body lotions and moisturizers, especially those which contain the appropriate amount of hyaluronic acid, are the most conventional means by which people counter the cold winds of winter and feed their skin with the extra moisture needed. Since showers slap deeper during winter, you cannot afford to bail on them as you would while in a rush on a summer weekday.
- Facial Cream
In addition to body lotions and moisturizers, you can take a more targeted approach to maintaining skin texture during winter by using facial creams. For all purposes and intents, scarcely any distinction can be drawn between facial creams and standard body lotions. However, they could be more crucial than you think when applied at night right before sleep, with the heater on.
It is easier for moisture to escape our hands and for hardness to set in, so facial creams can as well be carried about and used at random, to prevent these cracks. Hand washing must also be recalled.
- Cleansers/Cleansing Oil
The beautiful thing about cleansing is that it can be done daily. It is an effective way to start the day, especially in winter where clogged skin pores increase the onslaught of dryness and irritation.
For diversity, you can make the choice between creamy cleansers or cleansing oils. The air is more uncomfortable and possible allergies must be taken into serious consideration. Soap-free cleansers may just be the most ideal option during the season, as they are less likely to leave the skin dryer than it should be. When oil based cleansers are used, they must be rinsed away with cold water.
- Moderate Exfoliation
Exfoliation has the effect of eliminating dead skin cells and, by extension, boosting skin regeneration. It also serves to prevent breakouts.
As opposed to cleansing, you do not have to set daily reminders for exfoliation, as exfoliating everyday could have adverse effects on your skin. It is also important to take your skin type into consideration, as very dry skin would not require intensive exfoliation.
- Lip Balms
Across all seasons, lip licking remains the most popular mode of lubrication. The softening effect is short-lived, but most people do not mind. You can carry on with that, but you can as well make room for bigger guns during winter, where your lips are twice as likely to be chapped and crackled.
The best of these big guns, lip balms are easy to carry around. They may not be as under your nose (pun intended) as our lips, but they are much more effective. They offer the right amount of moisture and would certainly give your tongue much-needed rest.
- Hand Cream
If you religiously followed the COVID-19 prevention tip of constant hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, easing into hand creams during winter would not be an uphill task.
Hand creams do well right after showers, but they can as well be used at any time of the day.
You may not know this, but our planet is actually closer to the sun during winter. Even more shocking is the fact that the sun during winter is more harmful for your skin. As a result, daily application of sunscreen is ideal for the maintenance of your skin texture and the prevention of aging.
You should look out for sunscreens which contain titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide.
As you know too well, thick clothing is suited for winter, more than any other season. Apart from making a fashion statement with fur coats, scarves, bunny hats, gloves, mittens and boots, they also protect the skin from the blistering cold and dryness.
Even if the sun stays sheathed by clouds, snow and cold winds for a whole day during winter, its ultraviolet rays still find ways to escape. As weird as this sounds, the find a way to bounce off the snow, so staying out and building a snowman for hours might not be as harmless as it appears. Hence, the need for increased water intake. Even when you do not feel like taking a glass.
Take More Fruits
You would also be doing yourself a favour by consuming more fruits and vegetables during this period. Fruits like mangoes and berries are rich in Vitamin C, which is good for the skin. By consuming more fruits and vegetables, you can also boost your fluid levels.
To lock in the moisture and ward off dryness, you would be doing yourself a favour by washing your face at least twice a day. Warm water baths are also much more preferable to the irresistible pull of hot water baths, which decrease skin moisture.
As always, you and your skin cannot go wrong with exercise. Exercise actually adds colour to the skin. It may be harder to engage in it during winter, but it is worth it.