What the heck is it about the winter months that destroys our skin?? I’m talking dry, flakey, tight, irritated skin. I’m sure we all know it has something to do with the cold weather, but what in particular throws our skin so out of whack?
Here are 7 reasons your skin gets dry in the winter:
1. Cold temperatures
Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air and as a result the air is much more dry. Dry air means there’s less moisture for your skin to absorb and the moisture that is in your skin, gets evaporated into the dry air. The cold weather also constricts blood vessels in the skin. The reduced blood flow makes for less active sweat and oil glands, so the skin cannot immediate combat the drying effects of the cold air. You ever notice how after you’ve come indoors after being out in the cold, your skin “thaws” and gradually becomes shiny? As you skin warms, your oil and sweat glands become more active and get to work, trying to make up for the lost moisture.
2. Harsh Winds
This is like adding “fuel to the fire”. The frigid temps are drying enough as it is, but the added wind not only makes the air feel colder, but contributes to the drying of our skin by accelerating the evaporation of water from our skin.
3. Indoor Heating
Indoor heating is also very drying for the air and thus our skin. Many of us crank up our thermostats to combat the chilly weather, but sadly we are doing our skin more harm than good with the artificial heat that zaps moisture from the air and our skin.
4. Fires & Ovens
How many of us love cozying up next to a fire in the winter? Or find ourselves baking every weekend some yummy holiday or winter treat to cope with being cooped up indoors? Well believe it or not but lounging next to those cozy fires and bending over 400 degree ovens is most definitely drying to your skin.
5. Hot Showers & Baths
This is one of the most overlooked culprits of dry skin. I mean how could water possibly dry our skin? I mean a nice long hot shower after spending a day out in the cold seems like a well-deserved reward right? Well, think of it this way. When you step into that hot shower or slip into that steaming bubble bath, the hot water heat and loosens the layer of oil on the skin and essentially melts it away leaving our ski exposed without its protective barrier. Add soap to that equation and your skin becomes even more dry.
6. The Sun
Think of this: it’s the summer, the hot sun is beaming down and you’re headed for a day outdoors, do you slather on the sun block? A lot of people would answer yes to this question. Now ask yourself the same question, but this time, it’s the middle of the winter. Chances are, many of those same people who apply sun block to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays, do no such thing to protect themselves in the winter, even though the sun is just as damaging and drying.
Hot weather makes us hot, fact. It also makes us sweaty and thirsty. In fact, what’s more refreshing on a blazing summer day than a cool glass of water? People tend to drink a lot of water during the summer to try and stay cool, as well as to combat their increased thirst. During the winter, it only makes sense that people are less thirsty and as a result, drink less water.
So what can you do to help prevent your skin from drying out?
1. Bundle up: Try wrapping your face in a scarf to block the cold air from reaching your skin and lips. Don’t forget the gloves to protect your hands, as well!
2. Drink up: The more hydrated you are, the less likely it is for your skin to become dry and flakey from the cold. Drink lots of water to give your skin a fighting chance.
3. Cool it with the heat: Yea we get it, its freezing out, but your skin is shriveling up like a raisin and certainly you’d enjoy a smaller heating bill, am I right? Pop on a warm pair of slippers and a sweater and bundle up under a blanket. Problem = Solved. You’re skin would also benefit from less of that harsh heat from the oven and cozy winter fires.
4. Shorter Showers: I could say that you could take cooler showers, but let’s face it, not many of us are going to jump in a cold shower in the middle of the winter (some of you may…more power to you). Let’s be realistic though, a hot shower is hard to give up, so what can you do? Try shortening the length of your shower, taking showers less frequently if you can, or using an ultra-moisturizing soap. You could also avoid washing your face in the shower and do that over your bathroom sink except this time, use cooler water.
5. Lather Up: If you’re going to be spending a decent amount of time outside, be sure to apply sunscreen!
6. Moisturize: Go one step further in helping your skin by adding another layer of protection. Stock up on your best moisturizer and slather it on morning and night.
7. Preventative Measures: One of the simplest ways to combat dry winter skin is to prevent it from happening in the first place, but how do you do that?? Well it all has to do with taking the right steps in your daily life to ensure your skin is in tip top shape so it’s less likely to be thrown off balance. Lucky for you we’ve compiled a 15-step guide to combatting dry winter skin and a list of the Top 10 Skincare Ingredients you should be avoiding. Both of these are yours for FREE. Just click here to get your copy!
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