As the temperature drops and the nights get longer, you may have noticed a change in your skin’s condition. Perhaps your skin looks a little dull or feels drier and tighter this time of year, even if you’ve kept to your skincare regimen religiously and haven’t swapped out any of your tried-and-true products. You can blame the climate for this one; the winter season has a reputation for messing up your skin. Combat the dryness, itching, and irritation by reading our top 5 winter skincare don’ts you should be keeping in mind:
#1: Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
Don’t be fooled by the grey skies, thick cloud cover, and colder weather. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are as much a danger to your skin during the winter months as they are in the summer. The best skincare routine always involves a bit of protection against the sun. Always apply sunscreen at least 45 minutes before any kind of sun exposure, even if it’s overcast out. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends products with an SPF of 30 or higher, which can block 97% of harmful UVB rays. Make sure that you tailor your sunscreen according to your activities for the day, too. If you’re heading out for a day at the slopes or doing something active, go for a water-resistant or sweat-proof product that won’t slide off your skin, and be sure to reapply every two hours.
#2: Don’t Linger Too Long in a Hot Shower or Bath
A hot shower or bath can be incredibly comforting, especially if your extremities feel like they’ve been freezing off all day. It could be so cold out that you might feel tempted to stay in the bath or shower longer than you originally intended. However, be warned: hot water can compromise your skin’s lipid layer and cause dryness. Ironic, right? Keep the water at a moderate level below 98°F to combat this, or apply lotion or moisturizer right after your bath or shower to rehydrate your skin. It’s best to do this while your skin is still damp, since the added moisture allows the skin to absorb the product much more effectively.
#3: Don’t Let Your Fitness Suffer
Nothing makes a person want to stay snuggled up in bed a little longer than cold, bleak weather. However, working out and staying active doesn’t just help you keep fit and healthy; it comes with a host of beauty benefits, too. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise can improve blood circulation and stimulate the production of collagen, which both imbue your skin with a healthy and youthful glow.
#4: Don’t Ignore Your Products’ Ingredients Lists
Just because your skincare routine has never failed you doesn’t mean that certain products in it won’t cause havoc once the temperature starts to drop. Changes in the climate can have a direct effect on your skin, which can then affect the way your products perform as a result. As a rule of thumb, you should steer clear of drying alcohol-based astringent products in the winter, which can strip the skin of its natural oils and damage the moisture barrier. You may also want to shelve the physical exfoliants until spring.
#5: Don’t Use Clogging Makeup on Dry Skin
One of the worst things you can do to winter-dry skin is to load it up with ingredients that could be clogging or irritating. These include silicone primers, powder foundations, and matte lip products. All of these can rob your skin and lips of much-needed moisture and will likely settle into the dry patches, making them even more obvious. Stick to hydrating makeup if you must put any on, or go natural for a few days to give your skin time to breathe and heal.
The winter season can be a bad time for your skin, but there’s a lot that you can do to protect it from the elements. By staying mindful and making a few adjustments to your routine, you can enjoy the festive season without worry.