1. Get a New MoisturizerIf you're already moisturizing daily during the spring and summer months, great! But as the weather gets cooler, you'll probably need something different. Look for ointment moisturizers that are oil-based (many "night creams" are oil-based), since the oil will create a protective layer over your skin so that it can effectively retain moisture. You'll want the oils to be non-clogging oils like avocado, mineral, primrose or almond and avoid ones like shea on your face as they can clog facial pores. You can also look for humectants (I love to add a humectant serum under my night cream for additional moisture), which are substances like glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids that attract moisture to your skin.
2. Sunscreen!Sunscreen isn't just for summer. In fact, sometimes the winter sun can cause even more damage to your skin. The UV rays reflect of the snow and hit your skin from both above and below- that's like double the damage! Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and hands every morning 30 minutes before you go outside. If you're staying outside for a long time, reapply every few hours.
3. Get a HumidifierCentral heating systems and space heaters blast dry, hot air throughout both your office and your home, so your skin is exposed to it all day. A humidifier adds more moisture to the air so that its not so dry, which helps keep your skin from drying out. Put a few small humidifiers in the rooms you spend the most time in to help disperse the moisture evenly. Checkout this cute Owl Humidifier from Crane ($39.99) that will add moisture to the air without giving you an eyesore.
4. WaterYou've definitely heard that drinking water helps your skin- the reasons behind this are endless. Water is good for your overall health, and when you start to get dehydrated your skin will show it. Make sure you're drinking enough water- 8 cups a day is recommended, but how much you need is something that varies from person to person. It's easy to forget about water in the winter, though, and my tip is to set a couple pitchers of water in the morning and drink from them throughout the day so that you can keep track of how much you're really drinking.
5. Limit the Coffee and Hot ChocolateIf you're like me, your coffee addiction seems even bigger when it gets cold outside. Cuddling up with a warm drink like coffee, tea or hot chocolate tastes so great and helps warm you up too! It's perfectly fine to have a few warm drinks everyday, but since coffee is a diuretic you'll want to drink even more water to balance out its effects. Just make sure you aren't drinking these as a substitute to water but rather as a complement to it.
6. Wet Gloves and Sucks are the Worst!Not only do wet gloves and wet socks make your hands and feet super cold when you're out in the snow, but they can cause skin irritation and itching, cracking, sores and eczema. So make sure you're wearing heavy duty waterproof shoes and gloves when you're outside to avoid this.
7. Mind Your HandsThe skin on your hands is thinner than that of most parts of your body and it has fewer oil glands. For these reasons it's harder to keep your hands soft and moist, especially in cold weather. Dry hands can lead to itchy, cracked skin, so you'll want to avoid this by wearing gloves when you go outside and using a thick hand cream a few times a day. You can step this up a notch by slathering a thick layer of hand cream on your hands and immediately covering them with fuzzy spa gloves so that your hands can soak up the cream overnight.
8. Your Feet, Too!Your feet can get extra dry in the winder, just like your hands! Swap out your summer minty foot lotions for something stronger that contains petroleum jelly or glycerine. Exfoliate your feet about once a week, too, to get the dead skin off so that your feet can absorb more of the moisture from the creams.
9. Don't Take Scorching Hot Showers and BathsWhen your house is chilly and you just got in from the snow, a superhot bath or shower is very tempting. But the intense heat of the water breaks down your skin's lipid barriers, which can lead to a loss of moisture. Use warm water instead and stay in for a shorter amount of time. Warm baths with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve your dry skin, and switching from a drying shower gel to a creamy body wash can help keep your skin supple, too.
10. Peel SparinglyIf your skin is dry, try to avoid using harsh peels, masks and alcohol-based toners. These strip skin of vital oils which can make it even more dry. Use cleansing milks or mild creamy cleansers, alcohol-free toners, and hydrating masks instead for winter-friendly skin pampering.
Bonus Tip- Warm Your Clothes!One of the most dreaded parts of my winter morning routine is changing out of my super warm fuzzy pajamas into my day clothes. Something I love doing is popping my clothes in the dryer while I'm doing my hair and makeup. This way, when I get ready to put on my clothes they'll be very warm and the cool weather in my apartment isn't so unpleasant.
photo credit: Rust Belt Jessie via photopin cc