Our skin is our first line of defense against harsh environments. During winter, the cold weather can indeed be pretty harsh as felt by millions across the country. The skin can suffer due to exposure to the chilly air outside as well as the arid conditions inside most homes. Heaters zap the humidity indoors which leads to dermal problems like dryness and itchiness. Individuals with sensitive skin will have to step up their daily regimen to prevent these from occurring. There are a number of tricks that they can use that are simple yet effective if done regularly.
Moisturize Often with the Right Products
The warm air will assault the skin at all times. Protect it by applying moisturizer early and often. Be sure to use products that will not clog the pores as this will only lead to complications. Water-based options may work well during the three other seasons but winter is a different ballgame. Ointment-type products are generally more effective as they contain essential oils that lock in moisture. Test several brands until the perfect match is found. Be liberal in applying lotions that have ingredients which are known to draw moisture such as alpha-hydroxy acids and sorbitol.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
Cleanliness is always a virtue in any season. However, sensitive skin requires a little more care as strong chemicals can cause irritations. Winter conditions will further exacerbate the problem. When shopping for a cleanser, read the label carefully. Steer clear of the foaming wash if possible and reach for gentler alternatives like lotion-type washes. Avoid those with alcohol content when choosing astringents or toners. Alcohol will only speed up the onset of dryness by stripping the skin of its natural oils. Be mindful of the balance that has to be kept and go for mild formulations for a gentle clean.
Exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells that naturally accumulate on the surface. This process should be done from time to time in order to reveal the fresher layer underneath. With the extraneous cells gone, moisturizers will be better able to penetrate deeply and work their magic. There are a number of ways to do this. The quickest is to buy beauty products that exfoliate and use them on a weekly basis at most. Start with the mildest variants to check for any adverse reactions before moving up if desired. Homemade mixtures can also be as effective. Some people add natural exfoliants like baking soda and cornmeal to their favorite wash.
Mind Your Extremities
While facial care is always vital, people should not neglect other parts of the body that tend to get a lot of exposure as well. These include the hands and the feet. If they become dry and irritated, then it will be difficult to move around and do everyday tasks. Cover them with appropriate gloves and footwear whenever possible. Before going to bed, apply a moisturizing lotion all over them. Rub this into every inch including the spaces in between the fingers and toes.
Take Warm Baths, But Not Too Warm
One of the greatest pleasures during winter is to take a nice warm bath to “defrost” from a cold and tiring day. Mind the temperature when doing this as searing hot water can be detrimental to the skin. Even if it is not enough to cause burns, it can destroy the body’s native defenses against dryness. Dermatologists also warn against indulging for too long in the hot bath. A quick soak is better than an extended stay in the tub. Pat the body dry with a towel and apply moisturizer right afterwards.
Use these winter skin care tips for sensitive skin and you should have a trouble-free season. If problems persist, talk to a dermatologist.