The winter holidays are near and bring great excitement. However, they can also have their list of challenges. Unfortunately, the combination of cold and dry winter air along with central heating can cause unsightly skin dryness and flaking. This can be especially difficult to treat while traveling to see family and friends, as I learned recently while visiting Banff, Canada! The dry climate took a toll on my skin and I had to step up my skincare routine.
For those of you traveling over the upcoming months, here are 6 tips to battle dry skin this holiday season:
Take Lukewarm Showers
The sound of a hot shower sounds appealing after coming in from the cold, but it can remove natural oils from the skin that keep it moisturized. Instead take lukewarm showers and limit your total time to more than 10 minutes. Also avoid forming a thick lather while cleansing and dry off by blotting yourself with a towel.
Be sure to use a good moisturizer immediately after a shower and whenever you wash your face or hands. Moisturizers work by keeping water from evaporating from your skin. When looking for a good moisturizer look for products that contain emollients and humectants. Emollients soften and smooth the skin’s surface. Some examples of emollients include shea butter, cocoa butter, lanolin, and jojoba oil. Humectants work by drawing in moisture from the air into the skin’s outer most surface. Some examples of humectants include glycerin, sorbitol, and glycols. Applying moisturizer once is not enough. Aim to apply moisturizer approximately 5 to 6 times per day to avoid dryness. Mustard oil is an excellent method for hydrating your face before bed.
Shield Your Lips
Your lips are extremely vulnerable to the dry air since they are thin, delicate, and do not have oil glands like most of your skin. Prevent chapped lips by using a lip balm that provides a good buffer from the dry air. Always apply lip balm before using lipstick or lip gloss and reapply approximately at least 6 times per day.
Protect Your Hands
Most first recognize dry skin when we look at the back of our hands. Protect your hands by using gloves when you go outdoors or do errands where your hands can become wet. In addition, avoid using harsh soaps that can dry out skin. Apply moisturizer approximately 6 to 8 times per day for the best results.
Humidify Your Living Space
Use a humidifier in your home to counter the cold dry air. Strategically place a humidifier where you spend the most time such as your bedroom or living room to get the most benefit from it.
Protecting your skin also requires maintenance form the inside. Since winter air is drier, skin obtains less moisture from the air than during the other times of the year. How much water you should drink depends on a variety of factors, but a good range is try to consume 8 to 12 glasses per day. Of course, hydrating does not mean just drinking water. Clear soup, fruits, and vegetables are an excellent means of maintaining your hydration levels.