The winter season is approaching! For many people, the cold dry winter climates may bring uncomfortable dryness to the face, hands and feet. For more severe cases, it means unwanted skin conditions flaring up again such as flaking skin, cracking lips, skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis, chapped hands or coarse hair.
The low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds suck away the moisture in our bodies and deplete our skin of its natural lipid layer which keeps the skin from drying out. More attention is required during the winter months and here are some ways to help you achieve optimal soft skin suppleness during these harsh times.
1. Keep your Body Hydrated from Within.
Our sweat glands are less active in the colder months of winter and we have less craving for fluids. Too often during this period, we neglect the consumption of fluids into our bodies leading to a dehydration and dry skin. We must constantly keep our body hydrated from within and constant intake of fluids will help to flush out any toxins. If you’re like me which gets turned off by drinking cold beverages in winter, then heat up a cup of lemon tea to warm up your body.
3. Moisturize & Protect Yourself from Harsh Environmental Exposure
Drying winter winds can be very damaging for the unprotected parts of your skin especially the facial areas. Since most of us will not have a scarf wrapped around our face when we go out, moisturizers is a key to soft supple skin in winter by providing your skin with the protective barrier against the dry climates. Apply after your cleansing routine in the morning and again before you go to bed. Your hands can also benefit from the application of the moisturizer.
Wear Gloves – Cold weather encourages dry, cracked hands. This is easy to avoid by simply wearing gloves. By wearing your gloves each time you head out, you’ll limit the exposure your hands have to the cold weather.
Wear a Scarf – The delicate skin on the neck area can easily be protected by wrapping it with a soft comfortable scarf. Easy!
4. Exfoliation and Hydrating Masks are Very Important
Every time we exfoliate, the sloughing off dead skin cells encourages new cell renewal. New cells are moisture rich so it’s even more important to exfoliate regularly during the winter months to encourage hydration.
For optimal skin health during the winter months, try using a hydrating mask after you exfoliate. Your skin barrier is weakened a little when you exfoliate so adding extra hydration will make all the difference.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it and stress your skin out. Maybe during the winter months just be a little more disciplined with your exfoliation routine and make sure you actually do it regularly rather than forgetting (I’m the most guilty of that one).
5. Spend less time in the Showers
I know it can be very tempting when it is cold to spend longer periods in the showers or bath. However, winter showers longer than 15 minutes can damage and dry out your skin (especially if the water is high temperature). Stay away from long and hot showers or baths. Hot water robs skin of moisture causing dry skin, so it’s best to shower in lukewarm water. This goes for washing your hands as well. Use lukewarm water only.
Tips: Pat dry your skin with a soft terry towel after shower/bath. Don’t rub. Apply your moisturizers straight after you have dried your skin to trap in the body moisture from the shower.
6. Regular Massages are Very Beneficial
Massages are excellent in winter to help to keep your skin silky smooth, by toning the muscles, calming the nerves, warming the body and increasing blood circulation, so much needed nutrients can reach your skin.
7. Stay Away from Harsh Chemical Soaps
Do not use harsh soaps to cleanse, as they will strip your skin of precious lipids. Preferably, use a non-soap cleanser that is natural, organic and free from chemical derivatives to cleanse your skin. Click here for a great range of natural organic body soaps and washes.
8. Nourish Your Body and Skin with a Balanced Diet
Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and essential oils such as fruits and vegetables high in water content at every meal will help your body achieve optimal working condtions. Drink lots of warm water through the day. Remember that a holistic approach will yield the best results. Try and incorporate as many of the above suggestions as you can to maintain a balance diet and your skin looking smooth, soft and beautiful through the dry winter months.
9. Invest in a Humidifier
Fireplace and heaters suck the air of moisture, leaving very little humidity in the air. If having your fireplace or heater turned on is a must, then it may be wise to invest in a humidifier to inject much needed moisture back into your home.
Tip: If investing in a humidifier is too much, what you can do is to place a bowl of water in front of the heaters to minimize the effects of the dry air and to add moisture back to your home.
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