9 bad habits that worsen your skin in winter
No doubt, you know how to treat your skin during cold winter time. But probably you do these mistakes which could be damaging your skin as much as cold itself.
1. You use alcohol-based products
Forget about your hand sanitizer, the toner or the anti-acne wash for the cold season. Many oil-controlling and sanitizing products contain alcohol, which can dehydrate skin that’s already been sapped of moisture from exposure to chilly temperatures, dry air, and indoor heating. Instead, look for witch hazel-based formulas, which clean skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
2. You skip sunscreen
The fact that we don’t see the sun behind these grey clouds doesn’t mean that you’re not exposed to its rays. You are, even in winter. As a result you could get lines, wrinkles, redness, age spots, sagging skin, and even melanoma. And snow amplifies the sun’s harmful effects by reflecting the sunlight on the ground back up to your face. What will help? Wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 every day. Products with zinc or titanium dioxide provide the best protection because they’re physical sunscreens – theyform a protective barrier on top of skin that doesn’t allow UV radiation to pass through. And if you’re planning to go skiing, remember that winter sports are often performed at higher altitudes where the sun’s rays are more intense, so reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours.
3. You forget about your lips
Cold wind and dry indoor heat deplete your lips’ natural protective barrier, so they can’t retain the water they need to stay soft and smooth. Plus, your lips have no oil glands of their own to keep them hydrated. Lip balms create a protective coating that will prevent and treat chapped lips. For even better protectiontry a lip balm with SPF. And avoid licking your lips, as the enzymes in saliva can increase irritation, causing swelling and even cracking.
4. You like taking hotshowers and baths
Yes, it’s so nice and comfy to take a warm bath or a hot shower, but it’s not good for your skin. Hot water depletes natural oils from the skin’s surface, leaving it dry and more susceptible to conditions like eczema. Use lukewarm water, and if it’s not appealing, you can keep the water hot to a speedy 5 to 10 minutes tops. Once you’re out, pat skin dry and apply a moisturizing body oil or shea butter.
5. You use your summer face moisturizer
Unfortunately, the face lotion you’ve been using since spring will not do the same trick during winter. Instead of using lightweight or oil-free formulas (which work just fine in hotter, more humid weather), use creams with heavier humectants like hyaluronic acid, which draws additional moisture into the skin.
6. You exfoliate too hard
Yes, scrubbing off dead skin can help moisturizers sink in better, but using overly harsh products can damage the skin’s protective moisture barrier, which locks in hydration and keeps out irritants. As a result you’ll get redness, irritation, and inflammation. Use a mild exfoliant once a week, and then follow up with a ceramide-containing cream to help restore your skin’s barrier. The same rules apply to your body, too. The skin below your neck has fewer oil glands than the skin on your face, so it’s drier. Exfoliate with a gentle scrub weekly followed with a petrolatum-based cream.
7. You wear scratchy layers next to your skin
Wool sweaters are so warm and cozy, but if your skin is already sensitive, wearing them directly next to it only further irritates and inflames it. Put on soft cotton undershirts beneath your sweaters to provide a protective barrier. As an extra preventative measure against skin irritation, wash all clothes with mild, fragrance-free laundry soap without preservatives or dyes, and avoiding fabric softeners – theseadditives are a frequent cause of irritation or allergic contact dermatitis.
8. You crank up the heat
Too much heat at your home can dry out your skin. Research shows that most people are comfortable when the thermostat reads 68°F, minimum. Humidifiers can also help, because they increase the water content of the air around your skin and ultimately help moisturize it.
9. You pick at itchy skin
Picking and scratching is bad for your skin – it an even lead to scarring and discoloration. Treat itchy areas with a cool compress or by applying virgin coconut oil to hydrate skin with fatty acids that will also help to repair the crucial moisture barrier.
10. You are a clean freak
Over-washing your hands in hot water can lead to excessive dryness and cracked skin. To keep skin soft and avoid chapped hands, alternate washing with hot water and soap with using non-alcohol-based (and thus, non-drying) hand sanitizers. Try to use a moisturizing soap with aloe and glycerin.