Well I guess we can’t all live in Darwin Australia, where the rainy season relative humidity averages a damp 70%.
Heading outdoors in the cold can blast the moisture layer off your skin and torture it into an itchy, dry, red, crackly mess!
And staying inside won’t help. Dry heaters can do a number on your skin.
So instead of feeling like you are twelve years-old again and stumbled into a patch of rash-inducing poison ivy at summer camp, lets take a look at…
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Eleven Tips to Prevent Cold Weather Dry Skin
1. Prepare: Stock Up at the Corner Store
First off, you will need the right tools. A few products to have on hand during the cold winter months: a heavy face cream (high quality, make sure there are no mineral oils in the ingredients), Jojoba Oil, a heavy duty dry skin moisturizer (Eucerin, Vaseline, Aveeno are all inexpensive brand options. Origins, Aveda and Fresh carry higher end versions.), a skin brush, lots of water and/or coconut water, an all natural chap stick for your lips, a moisturizing creme body wash (light on any fragrances), long-sleeved and long-pants pajamas to sleep in. And sleepy-time socks.
2. In the Morning: Hydrate!
Make sure you are well hydrated before leaving the house. Replenish your body’s liquid stores first thing in the morning with either lots of tea and juice or lots of water or coconut water. Even if you don’t ‘feel thirsty’ you’ll be surprised at how dehydrating the winter weather can be.
3. Before You Bathe: Shower and Bath Tips
Limit your time in super hot water. If you are a hot bath freak like me, make sure to put a lot of oils and cremes directly into the bath water. Otherwise your skin will dry out like a piece of fruit leather! In the shower, also limit super hot water, and toss any bar soaps. Use oil and moisturizing body washes only. And post-bath moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Invest in a quality moisturizer that you LIKE, and use it every morning right after your shower/bath.
3. Before you Go to Bed: Moisturize Every Night
This is my favorite tip. Because it works. Every night before going to bed, lather your skin from head to toe in a combination of heavy moisturizer and the jojoba oil. Use enough moisturizer to cover your body, then add about a 1/4 cup of jojoba oil to the skin on your entire body. Rub it in very well, and be sure to get every inch of your skin. You should be glowing in an oiled-up-on-muscle-beach kind of way. Even your hands and feet should be well saturated in oil/moisturizer. Then quickly put on your sleep socks and long-sleeved pajamas. Go to bed. Sleep.When you wake up, your skin will be soft and hydrated. The PJ’s and socks will help to lock in the oils while you sleep.
4. When Going Out: Cover Up!
Cover up your ears, neck, arms, and even face with a nice jacket hood. Just don’t go out in a tank top and sorts. Duh. Exposed skin will dry up very very quickly in cold, windy, sunny weather.
5. For the Face: Ylang Ylang Oil
I am a big fan of Ylang Ylang Oil year-round. But in the winter months I have found that adding it to my face moisturizer is a big help. My favorite is Aveda brand face oil in ‘dry skin’ treatment form. It contains Ylang Ylang, and boy can you smell it! It smells like fresh hydration I tell you! Feels great. Apply morning and night.
6. For those Hard to Reach Areas….
The middle of your back! Can’t reach!
Either ask your hunny to help apply some moisturizer, or try this trick: buy one of those spritzer facial toner products and empty out 1/2 of its bottle into another container. Re-fill the spritzer bottle with a moisturizing body oil. Jojoba works very well. The spritz away! You can even spritz the middle of your back if you are talented like me.
7. Lips Lips Lips
Your lips are a crackly mess right? You’ve decided to ‘not bother’ with the chap stick? Well you should! Dry lips can be a pain, and look pretty bad if you are in a meeting or have a hot date. Remember to constantly moisturize with face oil or chap stick.. Invest in a product you really like, and it won’t be so hard to remember.
8. Pat Don’t Rub
When drying off, pat your skin. Don’t rub it.
9. Skin Brush Before Your Shower
Skin brushing is great to detox the skin. It’s also a great wellness tip for the winter months. If your skin is cracking and bumpy and red-don’t do this. But on average, light skin brushing during the winter months actually heps to clear away dead skin cells and allow skin to heal. The oils you use after your shower will be allowed to penetrate more deeply into your skin-as opposed to penetrate into the dry flaky outer layer.
10. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!
Again, don’t forget to drink lots of liquids during the cold weather. Tea, juice, Cocoa, coconut water, mineral water, lattes, limited coffee, soups, and even smoothies are all excellent option to keep your entire body well-hydrated during this dry winter season.
11. It’s Getting STEAMY in Here
At the Mandarin Oriental Spa they have an amazing steam room called the Amethyst Steam room. It is steamy and infused with essential oils-in the air. Walk out and your skin feels like buttery silk. Nothing more hydrating than twenty minutes in there! Try to do this at-home. Steam-room your bathroom. Or hey, try one of those silly looking portable steam saunas. I found one for only $89, Aihoo Portable Sauna. And a few others for around $250. Just froogle or google portable steam sauna. Steam rooms/capsules are great for dry skin. (Use an essential oil with the steam for a nice moisturizing fragrance.)
And if you get any red rashes, severe cracking or are in total pain or itchy agony– go to a doctor! They can help. But they will also tell you many of the tips above…so make sure you follow my tips!
Happy Cold Weather-ing!