Photo by George Rudy

As we settle into the winter months and spend more time inside with dry air, our skin can take some damage. As your body’s largest organ, your skin’s health can impact your overall wellness, so take extra care to invest in a good skincare routine. The most important parts of a winter routine are to be gentle and focus on moisturizing. Read ahead for 6 tips that will help you in maintaining healthy skin all winter long.

Go Fragrance-Free & Skip Harsh Exfoliation

Winter is a great time to reassess your skincare routine and make some adjustments. During colder seasons, our skin is not only drier but more sensitive, too. If you’re used to harsh physical exfoliants during the summer, it’s best to skip that step and opt for a gentler approach during the winter months. Similarly, your sensitive winter skin may react poorly to fragrances in skincare products (even if they’re usually fine during the summer). Swapping some of your products for fragrance-free, natural versions will help pamper your skin.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

You’ve probably already stepped up your moisturizing routine as dry, warm air begins to take its toll. But when and how you moisturize is just as important as frequency. Lotions are thinner and tend to work best when the air is more humid, so put those bottles away for the winter. Opt instead for a thicker cream and apply it right after the shower or immediately after washing your hands. Applying cream when your skin is still damp helps to trap that moisture and give it time to absorb. If you have particular trouble spots where your skin is extra dry, try using ointment or cream with hyaluronic acid.

Sunscreen is Still a Must

Don’t let the cold weather fool you – sunscreen is still essential during the winter months! While you don’t necessarily need a separate sunscreen for daily outings in the winter, choosing a foundation or moisturizer with SPF 15 or 20 will help keep your skin healthy year-round. If you’re heading somewhere snowy, make sure to increase the SPF; snow reflects a lot of light onto your skin, so you’ll need the extra protection! Don’t forget about your lips, either. Invest in a chapstick that has built-in SPF.

black woman bundled up in winter

Photo by David Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

Limit Hot Showers

Cold temperatures outside can encourage us to lengthen those steamy showers in the morning, but be careful not to overdo it. Prolonged use of hot water on your skin can cause it to dry out more! If you need that burst of hot to help you wake up, limit the highest temperatures to no more than 5 minutes, and then turn the water lukewarm for the remainder of the shower. If your skin is turning bright red, then the water is too hot. Also, remember to moisturize immediately after getting out.

Invest in a Home Humidifier

Cold air usually retains less moisture, so winter weather can bring dry conditions inside your home. Investing in a home humidifier can help keep you healthy throughout the season by maintaining an ideal relative humidity inside your home (aim for 40-50%). Look for a large enough unit for your bedroom or living area and has features to make automation easier (like the option to switch between cool and warm mist, a timer, and a built-in humidity gauge).

Drink Water & Eat Right

While it might be easy to think that skincare is all external, what you eat and drink has a significant effect on your skin’s health. Staying well-hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your overall wellness, and that includes healthy skin. If you notice that your skin feels dry or irritated, opt for foods with extra omega fatty acids (like fish, seeds, and nuts) to help restore some moisture from the outside-in!

These tips will help in maintaining healthy skin and glowing all winter long, but remember, consistency is key with any wellness routine, so make sure to map out your plan and stick to it!

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