Winter Skin Care Routine

The winter in Northeast Ohio can be harsh on the skin. The lack of humidity in the air, wind and cold temperatures can make our skin appear dry and dull. Even worse, it can cause cracked hands, rashes and itching.

Many skin products that we use in the summer just won’t give the same results in the winter. Here are some tips to help your skin survive the winter.

Tip #1 Use a cleanser that does not dry out your skin.

Harsh antibacterial soaps can strip the skin of oils and disrupt the skins natural barrier. Mild fragrance free-soaps that moisturize are preferable. Newer cleansing oils such as Bioderma are also very effective.

Tip #2 Take shorter showers.

Showers should be 10 minutes or less so that excessive hot water doesn’t strip the skin of essential oils. It is also better to keep the temperature of the water warm rather than steaming hot.

Tip #3 Moisturize after the shower.

Both the timing and the product deserve consideration. It’s important to be consistent and apply moisturizer within 3-4 minutes of getting out of the shower. Gold Bond, Aveeno, Lubriderm, Cetaphil are all popular lotions. Lotions from the health food store may contain purer ingredients. Lotions from the spa or cosmetic counter, such as La Mer, may feel more elegant but cost more. For sure, these lotions will work better than using nothing at all. However, lotions are water based and contain less oil than creams or ointments. Thus, lotions do not moisturize as well as ointments and creams. While ointments like Vaseline may work well they are less appealing because they are greasier. Therefore, Creams are more preferable as a moisturizer.

Tip #4 Exfoliate dry skin. 

Lotions with lactic acid, an alpha hydroxyl acid, is a helpful ingredient in lotion when you will to exfoliate dry, flakey skin. Weekly body sugar scrubs work well also. Mechanical exfoliation with a skin brush or sponge can also work well when used gently. Consider the sensitivity of your skin when using exfoliators so that irritation or hyperpigmentation does not occur.  

Tip #5 Use a portable humidifier in the bedroom or set the furnace to allow for more humidity in the home.