Over the last couple of weeks winter has finally arrived in the Bay Area, and it has come with a vengeance. Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, and surrounding cities have been pelted with rare and much needed rain coupled with a drastic temperature drop. After the summer that would never end these are welcome changes, but they do raise some important questions about your skin care routine. Obviously, your skin requires different treatment now that it is no longer a perfect 75 degrees in the Bay Area on a daily basis.
What adjustments do you need to make to your routine? Let’s take a look at some tips that will ensure your skin is just as healthy in the cold as it was it the heat.
Even though the weather is a whole lot wetter, your skin still needs moisturizer. In spring and summer we typically use water-based moisturizer, however, “ointment” moisturizers that are oil based are recommended for winter weather. The oil creates a layer on the skin that better allows it to retain more moisture. Beware of oils like shea oil and vegetable shortening that can clog your skin. Non-clogging oils that are great for your skin include avocado oil and olive oil.
Keep Applying Sunscreen
Woman Applying Sunscreen — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Let’s say you are shopping in downtown Pleasanton. It’s a little bit cold outside, but the sun is out and doesn’t seem too bright. You don’t need to worry about applying sunscreen, right? After all, you can barely even feel the sun.
The truth is that sunscreen should be worn all year, not just in the summer. While the rest of you is bundled up in winter wear, your face and hands will likely still be exposed to the sun. Although the sun’s rays are not as noticeable as they are in the summer, they can still damage your skin. So remember to apply sunscreen to your face and hands before going outside.
Change Wet Clothes ASAP
If you’re like me, you like the feeling of running in the rain. You can find me running up the hills of Brushy Peak in Livermore even in the worst of weather. Of course the run ends with me soaked and muddy with horribly wet socks that I take off immediately.
Whether you are going on a hike, a run, or just trying to get from point A to point B in the rain, it is important to change out of your wet clothes as soon as possible. Sure, we think of wet clothes as uncomfortable, but we never consider to impact that wearing wet clothes can have on our skin. Wet clothes can cause skin irritations like itching, sores, and even cracking.
No Extended Hot Baths or Showers
Young blond woman enjoying a foam bath
There is nothing better than a hot bath or shower on a chilly day. Unfortunately, bathing in hot water can further dehydrate your skin. Lukewarm water is definitely not as satisfying but it will better help soothe and relieve your skin.
A great way to keep your hands soft and moist during the winter months is to wear gloves. Gloves not only keep your hands warm, but they protect you from the sun and trap moisture. If your hands are parched, moisturize them with an oil based moisturizer (as discussed above) then slip on a pair of gloves. The gloves and moisturizer will work in unison to soften up your skin.
Your choice of pajamas is obviously going to greatly fluctuate greatly between the winter and summer seasons. Winter demands more coverage, but with more coverage can come more skin irritation. A general rule for winter pajamas is the softer the better. Avoid rough blends of cotton and synthetic fibers, even if they were a nice gift.
Invest in a Humidifier
Your home heating system may keep you warm, but it is also drying out your skin. A humidifier will get more moisture in the air and help prevent your skin from cracking and getting damaged. If you don’t have a humidifier you can find them at a local drugstore. I recommend buying more than one and positioning them around your home to keep and even amount of moisture in the air.
Natural homemade clay facial masks at home .
Once a week exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells from your body. This will reveal healthy, fresh skin underneath. Do not exfoliate any more often than weekly. If you exfoliate too much you can end up doing more harm than good by irritating your skin.
Dried and severely chapped lips are one of the worst parts of winter. If you are not already in the habit of carrying lip balm you will want to start. Lip balm will keep you from licking your lips to provide some moisture. Although your lips might feel better for a second or two, licking them will ultimately only make them dryer. Use some lip balm instead to avoid dry and damaged lips.
Drink Plenty of Water
This one is the same all year. There is no reason why you shouldn’t always be staying hydrated by drinking water. Not only does it help your skin stay healthy and looking young, but it is great for your overall health as well. Overall, hydration is the biggest key to healthy skin; and that all starts with drinking water.