Many of us struggle with various skin problems ranging from dry skin to acne. I know that I’ve tried so many different lotions, creams and everything in between to keep my skin in check. I’ve even made my lotions and soaps and all kinds of other concoctions (very messy, but rewarding). But just when I think I’ve finally found the right product that makes my feel great with no dryness or oiliness and no breakouts, the weather changes and I’m right back to square one. In the winter it’s the worst with the cold, dry and windy air. You know how your lips feel when they’re chapped? In the winter I sometimes feel as though my entire face is chapped.
But no more chapped face! Here are some tips to keep your skin feeling great through the winter time.
Moisturize Your House
When it starts getting cold most people’s immediate reaction is to crank up the heat. Everybody in the African and Caribbean communities knows a few homes where you’re sweating at even if it’s snowing outside. You know who you are, “It’s always 90 degrees in Haiti, that’s what I’m used to.” Don’t lie. The average temperature is about 80 degrees and you haven’t been to Haiti in 10 years. Most people don’t realize that higher temperatures make the air very dry, which is not good for your skin. Now I’m not advocating that you freeze to death to have beautiful skin, but it shouldn’t be 95 degrees in your house. Turn down the Thermostat! I know people who pay heat bills are screaming ‘Hallelujah’. But it’s true. Your home should be somewhere in the 70 degree range (and I mean 68 degrees to 72 degrees, not 79 degrees). If you have that ghetto heat (like I do) and you can’t control the thermostat then open a window to let some of the heat out. Another great thing you can do is get a humidifier to add some moisture back into the winter air.
Don’t Over Wash
When you come inside from the blistering cold at lot of times you want to just warm up with a nice steamy shower. This makes sense since the hot water will warm you up and, if you felt dry while you were outside, the water will moisturize your skin… right? No! Hot water actually dries your skin out because it strips your skin of its natural oils. Instead, you should be taking short showers (5 – 10 minutes) with lukewarm water. A bath is cool too, but the water should still be lukewarm. While we’re talking about stripping natural skin oils, you should also watch the type of cleanser you’re using. Some cleansers and soaps can be extremely drying because they also strip away the natural oils from your skin. You should go for gel or a moisturizing cleanser or even an oil wash. Try to steer clear of bar soaps. Astringents are also very drying so try to use them less frequently than you would in warmer months.
Protect Your Skin
When your skin is dry, your go-to remedy is moisturizer. But, you probably have to use a different moisturizer than you would use in warmer months. Try using a creamier moisturizer or ointment. Also moisturizes right after washing your face or taking a shower. This is, by far, the best time to moisturize. Blot your skin dry with a towel, then apply your moisturizer. You should also continue to use moisturizer in the winter months. Even though it may not feel like it, the sun can still do some damage in the winter time. Always wear the appropriate clothing. Gloves, hats, scarves, Gortex, long johns, fur…whatever, just make sure your skin is always protected, especially from the wind. But watch out for materials that irritate the skin, such as wool or other rough materials. If you get caught in cold rain or snow and come in wet, change your clothes immediately.
As always you should be eating right and drinking plenty of water. I hope these tips help you battle those cold, dreary months ahead with a little more ease. Do you have any winter tips of your own? Please share them with us. I’d love to hear what you do to keep your skin fresh in the winter.
Until next time, Cheers to a better you!