Awwww, winter – the perfect time to hibernate inside, drink hot chocolate, and watch old black-and-white sappy movies – right? It’s also a time when many of us let our daily skin regimen go by the wayside – no sunscreen, no dried out skin, and no chlorine.
According to experts, winter is the best time of year to step up your everyday skincare, and that still means sunscreen and dried out skin. Why? Because as soon as you turn the heat on indoors, your skin starts to dry out.
And why use sunscreen when the skies are always overcast? Because UV radiation, though not as intense in the winter, still poses a threat, especially when the rays reflect off snow. There is truly no safe time of year when it comes to UV radiation.
So, what else should we be doing to keep our skin hydrated and healthy throughout the winter months? Here’s your Fantasia Wintertime S.O.S.:
- Ask a Skincare Expert. Visit one of the skincare experts at Fantasia Salon & Hair Restoration Center. Owner Twila Donley says that one of their experts can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skincare routine, and give you advice on what kind of special care your skin may need during the wintry weeks ahead.
- Choose Your Products Carefully. Fantasia Salon and Hair Restoration Center offers the SkinCeuticals line of skincare, advanced skincare backed by science. Made in the USA, SkinCeuticals is clinical skincare used by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and medi-spas for daily homecare and to complement aesthetic procedures. The SkinCeuticals skincare systems are all-inclusive regimens designed to effectively address all skin types and include cleansers, toners, vitamin C serums, corrective products, retinol, and sunscreens.
- Don’t Forget the Sunscreen. Make it easy on yourself and find a moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Winter sun – especially when combined with snow glare – can still damage your skin, so apply it generously to both your face and hands at least 30 minutes before going outside. And if you’re participating in wintertime sports – skiing, snowboarding, or just snowball fighting – reapply the sunscreen frequently.
- Use Your Humidifier. Central heating systems, as well as space heaters, are made to deliver hot air throughout our homes and offices. To balance that dryness, check if your Central heating system has a built-in humidifier to add moisture to the air, which helps balance out the dryness of the heat. If you don’t have a built-in humidifier, try buying several tabletop ones, and place them in the rooms you use the most – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room. They’ll not only deliver more moisture to the air, they’ll help distribute the moisture more evenly.
- Shorter showers, and shorter baths. Awwww, there’s nothing more warming than a hot shower when you first jump out of bed – or after spending a winter day outdoors. But a hot shower or bath can actually break down those natural oils in your skin, leaving your skin drier and less protected than before. You might want to adjust the temperature on your hot water heater just a smidge, or just take a warm shower or bath. And don’t lounge around, either – turn that 15-minute shower into a warmer 7-8 minutes, and your skin will thank you.
- Put the harsher skin products away for the winter. Winter is already hard on our skin, so don’t add to it by using strong or harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners, cleaners, or astringents. This harkens back to Wintertime SOS #1: Ask your Skin Expert. Those harsher products can strip those vital oils from your skin, so if you must use them, use them less often, or ask for recommendations that include cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, and masks that are more hydrating.
- Don’t forget those Hands and Feet. The skin on your hands is thinner than any other part of your body, and they carry fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. Carry thick, hydrating hand cream with you all winter long, and wear thin cotton gloves under your regular wintry gloves. This way you can lather away, without it rubbing off. And use the hard stuff on your feet – let’s face it, boots, and socks can get wet and sog up our feet, so you need stronger creams or ointments to help. Use exfoliants to rid your feet of dead skin, and then apply lotion or cream that contain petroleum jelly or glycerin. At night, consider applying petroleum jelly directly to your feet then covering them with thin cotton socks, to help keep the moisture in. If you’re comfortable, you can do the same with your hands, wearing thin cotton gloves.
One last note: I know most of us think that the opposite of dry is wet, and that means water. And while water is a key ingredient to health, that doesn’t mean your skin. Try not to wash your face more than twice a day, and when you do, make sure you use the hydrating products we recommend. Your skin will look summertime fresh even when the temperature dips below freezing!