When the winter times rolls around it becomes increasingly evident that our skin begins to change. The winds seem to be more penetrating and even though there is more precipitation in the air it seems to become even drier. The problem stems from more than just the cold temperatures as some people may think. When the weather is cold we tend to spend more time in those hot soothing showers, our offices where we work increase the amount of conditioned air circulation, and the soaps we use can also be contributing to drying out our skin.
The good news is that once you recognize the problem the solution is not that far away. The obvious answer to extra dry skin is to moisturize but many people do not know how to choose the right moisturizer for themselves. Without the right moisturizer to replenish the skin you may not be helping your problem at all. You may think that you're already moisturizing, but according to WebMD, there are certain things that need to change with your winter skin care treatment,
You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer. But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine. ... Moisturizer that's oil-based ... will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than cream or lotion.
We all need to moisturize every day regardless of the time of year or the current weather conditions but we need to really step up the process during those extremely cold and dry winter months. Choosing the right type of moisturizer is a very important step. However, there are other things that we can do to keep our skin fresh and moisture balanced in the wintertime.
You might think that this will be counter productive in the winter time but when your skin is free of the dead, dry skin the creams and lotions will be able to penetrate your pores allowing them to work better. Generally, in the winter when weather dries out your skin, dead skin cells stop shedding and collect on the surface so that the moisturizer cannot penetrate fully into your skin.
A mild exfoliate or body scrub can cleanse away those dead skin cells so that your moisturizer has a chance to work. It is very important that the exfoliate you use is extra gentle. This is explained clearly by the Latest Health and Beauty Tips,
The tricky part of exfoliation in winter lies in its frequency. Skin experts suggest exfoliating one or two times a week. One thing you must be careful about is skin irritation. Irritation may cause dullness and flakiness of skin. In this condition, skin requires extra moisturization, not a scrub session.
Make sure that you choose a good exfoliate to get that natural glow that comes with clean moisturized skin.
Watch Your Hydration
It is important that you stay hydrated at all times; it is not only good for your health but it is also an excellent protection for your skin. You need to be careful of how you drink your water as well. If you're out and about and you take a long drink from your bottle you leave water on your lips. When those molecules evaporate, they will take with them additional water from your lips leaving them with that flaky, chapped look.
To prevent that make sure that you wear some lip balm throughout the day. This will keep that moisture locked in your lips on so that you can still have those smooth and soft lips that people admire. (You can also invest in a box of straws too if you want).
Watch Your Soaps and Showers
Soaps generally have extremely harsh chemicals that pull moisture away from the skin. The ingredients of most soaps on the market today are a combination of salt and fatty acids. The fatty acids can come from a number of sources from beef to vegetables and salt is a naturally drying ingredient. When soap is made it contains residual alkalis from the soap it contains and this is what can cause the drying effect on the skin's upper surface. This top layer of skin is what holds in the body's moisture but when damaged under the frigid winter conditions it can allow it to escape.
In addition to the soaps you use the tendency to stay longer in the showers can increase the drying effect on your skin. The intense heat from the shower can break down the lipid barriers in the skin adding to another cause for the loss of moisture.
The trick is to find a soap that contains a moisturizer that will immediately begin to counteract the drying effect that happens when you shower. These types of soaps will work to restore your moisture balance while you're in the shower. Experts suggest shorter showers (5 minutes or less) with lukewarm water is best for preserving the moisture in the skin. As advised by the Collins Beauty Pages,
Another option is to use a light grape seed oil or fractionated coconut oil. These can be used in the same way as a lotion: applied gently to the skin and then rubbed off.
For those who love to try some old traditional favorites you could try the ancient moisturizing method of the Romans before they had soap. By drenching yourself with olive oil and then scraping it off with a knife you can get yourself clean and moisturized at the same time. Others have found that a lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve extra dry skin and then reapplying your moisturizer can be very effective as well.
The main point is that the winter months can be extremely harsh on your skin. Whether you have naturally dry or greasy skin for most people the affects of winter are the same. Doing everything you can to preserve the moisture within and restore what is lost can keep your skin healthy and clean for the duration of the harsh winter exposure that we all have to deal with.