No matter how old you are, everyone experiences winter itch at some point in their life. Most of us experience flaky, itchy, dry skin when the temperature drops and the air dries. Whether it's due to the cold winter winds, low humidity, dry air, moisture-stripping soaps, or winter-weather sunburn, I've got your seasonal cheat sheet to avoid the winter itch.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Winter skin care comes down to adequate moisturization of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. This isn't about eight glasses a day. It's about finding the right moisturizer for your cold, dry winter skin. Winter is the time to switch from a lotion to a cream, as generally the thicker your moisturizer, the more intense the moisturizing effects. Scan the aisles for a product with ceramides, such as CeraVe, which can help restore the skin's natural protective barrier that may be damaged as a result of the dry cold winter weather. Staying moisturized in winter can soothe and protect skin and help prevent dry, itchy skin.
Just because its winter, doesn't mean you can toss your sunscreen. UVB rays might be weaker in winter, but UVA rays stay the same all year long. These rays can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer. You can accumulate the same sun damage from UVA rays in the winter as you can in the summer. So apply a sunscreen to exposed skin frequently to prevent your skin from getting dry and to protect it from harmful UV rays.
3. Winter acne - don't pop it!
Whether acne is your constant enemy or decides to show up randomly in winter, you can still win the fight against acne. Winter can be a tug of war between treating acne while still trying to keep your skin moisturized. Use an acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide, like AcneFree's Oil-Free Acne Cleanser, that also contains ceramides to help moisturize your skin while fighting acne bacteria. I love a dual purpose product!
4. Humidifiers to the rescue
Add a humidifier to your room at night to help with dry skin. Humidifiers help make dry air more comfortable by increasing the water vapour. It's basically a moisturizer for the air. During winter, as humidity levels drop, the cold air loses most of its moisture and becomes dry, in turn drawing moisture from your skin. A humidifier is a useful way to add moisture to air and help your skin feel more supple upon waking up - the true essence of a beauty sleep.
5. Lose the lip-licking
Lip-licking and lip biting is more likely to occur in winter when your lips are chapped. The problem is that both these acts continue the cycle of chapped, dry and damaged lips. Saliva is acidic and breaks down food as well as lip skin. Choose plain lips balms such as Vaseline - bland is best. To be sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.
6. Turn down the heat
While they may feel great to some of us, hot showers and baths can turn your skin into the Sahara desert! The heat opens your skin matrix and releases your natural moisturizers. So turn down the heat and keep your showers or baths to less than five minutes. Once done, pat dry and immediately apply moisturizer to damp skin to lock in the moisture.
Follow these six simple steps to keep your winter itch under wraps. Even when you're tight on time or too cold to move, dab on some moisturizer to protect yourself in the fight against the winter itch.
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