Keep That Skin Fresh – Winter Skin 101

Jacquelyn Jablonski, Photo by Kevin Tachman

Skin care is the most important aspect in maintaining a great beauty regiment. Way too often, people think that because they aren’t laying out in the summer sun or if they have their skin covered up that  skin care can be put to the side. This couldn’t be more wrong.

Here are some great winter tips on how to keep that skin beautifully fresh in those cold brittle months.

1) SPF that face!  Most people believe that just because the temperature drops and they cannot see the sun as much, that the need for sunscreen is no longer imperative. Well, this is just not true!  The sun is just as strong in the winter months, and combined with snow glare,  it is just as important to squeeze out that sun screen (SPF 30 lowest) in winter as it is when you’re relaxing along the Amalfi coast. Apply it around 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply if you are out for a long period of time.

2) Switch up your products. Summer skin and winter skin are two very different things, so why would you use the same products?  Your skin needs a lot more hydration in the winter, so make sure your skin care reflects that.

3) Chill those hot baths!  Who doesn’t want to take that hot, steaming bubble bath after a long cold day? Well, if you want to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, don’t do it. Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin which leads to skin dehydration, so as badly as you want to make your skin red from bathing, try for cooler water or a 10 minute or less shower.

4) Pat and oil. Post bathing, quickly pat your skin dry and immediately hydrate your skin with a nice essential oil or moisturizer. This will help keep the water in the skin before it evaporates. Don’t think skin care is only for your face. Your body’s skin takes a beating during winter months as well. When choosing a winter moisturizer, choose an oil based one that will really help. But, choose wisely, all oils are not great for your face.

5) Love the air you’re in. Don’t only moisturize your skin, moisturize your air. Get that humidifier pumping. Winter air can be very dry and harsh and, if you live in an apartment, you most likely have a heater that you have no control over. Get control. Humidifiers will allow your skin to get what it needs and it may also help you from getting sick.

6) Cover your hands!  The skin on your hands is thinner than on most other parts of the body. It also has less oil glands. This means that your hands dry out faster and that they need a bit more TLC. Moisturize them and glove them before you go out.  This will help protect them and hold in that moisture.

7) Take care of the lips! Your lips take a beating in the winter. The skin is much thinner and, let’s be honest, we try and self moisturize by licking our lips which only chaps them really badly in the long run. Get a great lip moisturizer with spf and also take  the time to get a good lip scrub. Take care of those beauties because kissing keeps you warm in the winter.

8) Kill that dead skin. Exfoliate to get all of that old, dead skin away. Don’t do it every day, but exfoliating is great for your skin and lets the moisturizers and oils do their job better.

Difference in moisturizers

Choosing a moisturizer can be confusing.  There are so many different kinds and different base products.  Here is a quick guide to the four different groups of moisturizers.

Oil Moisturizers: Oils help recreate your skin’s natural lipid barrier.  This helps keep your skin hydrated.

Cream Moisturizers: These are usually easily rubbed into the skin and do not leave a greasy feel. They tend to be a bit thicker and can be wonderful for really dry and chapped skin.

Ointment Moisturizers: Tend to be a lot greasier and stay on top of your skin.  However, ointments trap in your moisture the best.  The key to an ointment moisturizer is to put a small amount on and really rub it in.

Lotion Moisturizers: These are some of the most popular.  However, they are suspensions of oily chemicals in alcohol and water.  They can be a bit more drying than the oil or cream based moisturizers if used constantly.