5 Tips to Protect Your Skin in Winter

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

skin care

The other day, my daughter reached out to hold my hand and she commented on how rough my hands were. With skating, skiing and shoveling, the cold air and whipping winds have dried out my skin, and to be truthful, I have not been the best at taking better care of it. In addition, cold and flu season has meant that my hands, in particular, have taken a beating from all the hand washing. So, here are some tips to help you sport soft, glowing skin in the winter, while enjoying your favorite cold weather activities.

1. Apply sunscreen

Just because you are wearing a coat, that shouldn't mean that the sunscreen gets put away. The sun can cause damage even on the coldest day. So, before heading outdoors, slather on a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

2. Use a humidifier

This is a must for every bedroom in the house. Central heating can really aggravate cracked lips, scaly skin, and itchy scalps. Hooking up your humidifier is a simple solution that can add much-needed moisture to the air in your home or office.

3. Take shorter and cooler showers

After a few hours of shoveling, a hot steamy shower sounds perfect. Unfortunately, hot water can further dry out our skin by sapping its natural oils. To save your skin, shower or bathe once per day for no more than 10 minutes, and use lukewarm water. If you are taking a bath, consider adding colloidal oatmeal. It is a natural cleanser and moisturizer and can help relieve itchy skin.

4. Help your hands and lips

In my case, my lips and hands show the wear and tear of winter activities more than any other part of my body. In an attempt to steer clear of colds and flu, I wash my hands frequently with harsh soaps and hot water. Although washing your hands is important, make sure to follow up with a hydrating moisturizer. For extra protection and skin healing, slather on a thick hand cream before you go to bed. Lips are also prone to the ravages of winter. A nourishing lip balm is essential to ward off windburn and sun damage, which can also trigger cold sores and blisters.

5. Drink water

Ice cold water may be less appealing at this time of year, but it is still important to drink plenty of water year-round to nourish our skin, especially when exercising. Any activity that causes sweating, such as skiing or snowboarding, will require us to rehydrate often.

Photo from here, with thanks.