The winter season in Massachusetts is accompanied by the colder climate, harsh winds, and low humidity levels. Whether you are staying inside snuggled up by the fire or you’re hitting the slopes, wintertime causes abnormal changes to the skin. Skin typically feels drier and may feel tight, itchy, raw and irritated. That extreme dryness may lead to cracking and fine lines. Here are some quick ideas to help you maintain healthy skin over the winter:
- Keep yourself and your skin hydrated
- Warm showers vs. hot showers
- Exfoliate less
- Shaving differently in the winter
- Even in winter you need to apply SPF sunscreen
Keep yourself and your skin hydrated
Keeping your skin hydrated is essential during the winter months. Moisturizer on your face, body and hands will help reduce that raw and cracked dry skin. Cleansing is necessary to rid your skin of unwanted substances collected throughout the day and night, but it can strip your skin of natural oils needed to lock in moisture and protect your skin from pollutants.
Applying a moisture barrier after you cleanse your face or shower, is important in the morning and before bed to help repair and straighten your skin. It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking more water and consuming food high in water content, will help protect your skin’s moisture barrier.
18|8 Fine Men’s Salon carries AVEDA skincare products that can help moisturize your face, hands, feet and body and protect your skin from the dryness of winter.
Warm showers vs. hot showers
In the wintertime, you seek warmth & comfort and there’s nothing better than enjoying a hot shower, right? You may feel that way, but your skin does not. Hot water is one of the primary skin irritants and it removes natural oils from your skin and your hair. Switch to a shorter, lukewarm shower and use a more natural body wash and shampoo. Removing harsh chemicals from the products you use and avoiding hot water will help keep your skin and hair say healthier throughout the season.
Exfoliation is a process used to remove dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria build up on the outer layers of skin. Exfoliating helps prevent clogged pores, increase blood circulation to the skin and brightens your appearance. Exfoliating can be harmful when done on unhealthy or overly dry skin. If your skin has dry patches, redness, or flaky skin, it’s best to avoid exfoliating until your skin shows improvement. Focus on a mild gentle cleaner and rehydrating your skin.
Shaving differently in the winter
Your skin is sensitive in the winter and making changes to your shaving routine can make a big impact on your skin. If your skin is dry and irritated, it can promote unwanted ingrown hairs. To keep your skin less dry, look for look for shaving creams/gels and aftershaves that are alcohol-free and natural ingredients with less chemicals.
We talked about taking lukewarm showers. The same is true if you shave outside the shower. Consider preparing the skin for shave by soaking the facial hair with lukewarm water and let shave cream/gel sit on the skin a little longer before applying the blade. Other tips are to rinse the blade with every stroke and consider changing out the blade more often in the winter to avoid using a dull razor.
Even in winter you need to apply SPF sunscreen
You might be saying the sun’s not out, or I’m so bundled up you only see my face. Those harmful ultraviolet rays can still come through cloud cover or can reflect off that crisp white snow. Applying sunscreen throughout the winter is essential for protecting your skin’s moisture barrier. Your tender winter skin cannot afford any additional damage in the dry winter months. It’s important to find a hydrating moisturizer with SPF of at least 30 and has UVA/UVB broad spectrum coverage.