Dry, winter air can wreak havoc on skin. Not only does it steal moisture away, it can lead to tiny cracks in the surface, lowering skin’s ability to protect against free radical damage. In fact, if you’re not careful, you can suffer accelerated aging over the winter months.
With a few changes to your skin care routine, you can avoid the damage and keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant during these winter months. Avoid these seven mistakes, and step up your nourishing and moisturizing care.
1. Licking Your Lips!
We do it without thinking about it. Our lips get dry and our tongues naturally respond. This is horrible for our skin. Not only does the saliva evaporate, taking the moisture with it, it also contains enzymes that help digest your food—think “break down.” These enzymes do the same to the thin, fragile skin on your lips, so you end up with drier, more chapped lips than before you licked them.
Instead: Keep lip balm with you always, and use it whenever you feel the urge to lick. Make sure you choose a product without petrolatum ingredients, as they can cause long-term dryness. Look for bee’s wax, honey, shea butter, natural oils, and aloe. Want something that will heal, nourish, and repair all at the same time? Give our award-winning Restorative Skin Balm a try for soft, kissable lips all winter long.
2. Forgetting Sunscreen
When the clouds are out and the day is gray, we tend to forget about applying sunscreen. After all, we can’t see the sun! But remember, even when you can see it, it’s still there. In fact, winter sun can be even more dangerous, as UVA rays still come through, and they’re the ones most responsible for aging and skin cancer.
Instead: Protect with a safe product like zinc oxide every day!
3. Using Your Summer Skin Care Routine
Winter came suddenly for many of us this year. That means we didn’t get time to adjust. If you’re still using your summer products and routine, it’s time to reevaluate. The skin naturally needs more moisture in winter, as the air is drier and tends to steal more hydration from the skin. If you don’t respond to this change in needs, your skin will end up dry, dull, and damaged for your holiday get-togethers.
Instead: Ask yourself: what does my skin need? Increased moisture is the most common requirement. You may want to change your lotion to a cream, and consider liquid foundation over powder. You may also want to change up your cleanser from a gel or lotion to a more cream-based formula. If you haven’t already, add an anti-aging serum to pump up the hydration. Your skin should feel soft, smooth, and comfortable. If you notice tightness, dryness, or itchiness, something is off and you need to try something else.
4. Putting Anything on Flaky Skin
I know, we try to cover it up, but it just doesn’t work. Any type of foundation, even liquid, will just call attention to the damaged skin. If you notice flakes, it means two things: 1) you’re not exfoliating enough, 2) your moisturizer isn’t working.
Instead: We usually suggest exfoliating one-to-two times a week, but in the winter, that may not be enough. If you notice flaky skin, go ahead and exfoliate—just make sure you’re using a gentle product. Avoid nut-based and plastic-based scrubs, as these cause damage and irritation that can lead to redness and acne breakouts. Instead, look for Dead Sea mud or clay, papaya and other natural enzymes, oat ingredients, fruit-based ingredients, gentle acids, and essential oils. Then make sure that your moisturizer is giving your skin what it needs. An added serum (as noted above) may be the perfect solution. Moisturizing masks can also be a lifesaver.
5. Neglecting Your Hands
We tend to focus on our faces while neglecting our hands. In the last few years, however, we’ve begun to realize that our hands can quickly betray our age faster. It’s time to extend your skin care routine to your hands—which are the first to suffer in rough, winter weather. We wash them more often to avoid getting sick, and we expose them to the elements—all without giving them any extra care. This is a sure recipe for dry, callused, cracked, and old-looking hands.
Instead: Carry a good, quality hand cream with you. Put it on after each washing. This is critical if you want soft, smooth, and young-looking hands. Avoid hand sanitizer if you can—most are alcohol-based, which dry out your skin. Warm water and soap work just as well if you have it nearby. Finally, step up your hand care at night. Exfoliate your hands (you can use the same product you use on your face) and apply a deep, anti-aging moisturizer. If your hands are really suffering, wear cotton gloves overnight to seal in moisture.
6. Failing to Use a Humidifier
Dry dry dry. That’s the air in most locations during the winter. All day and all night long it’s pulling moisture from your skin. You can apply moisturizer and apply moisturizer, but the air keeps stealing it away. If you don’t use a humidifier—at least in your room, overnight—you’re fighting a losing battle against the dryness.
Instead: Find a humidifier that works for you and use it in your bedroom, and potentially in other areas of your home to hydrate the air.
7. Ignoring Your Feet
Once we stop wearing sandals, a lot of us forget about our feet. This is a bad idea in winter. Feet (along with hands) take the brunt of the abuse, and are often the first part of the body to feel the cold. You know that the second something’s wrong with your feet, your whole body can feel off. Besides, the longer you neglect them, the harder it will be to get them in shape next spring.
Instead: Consider not only maintaining your foot care, but stepping it up. A warm footbath can wash away all your stress in the winter, and if you add some deep moisturizer and self-massage afterwards, you’ll feel like a new person! Add Epsom salts to your bath to soothe any foot pain and soften skin, and regularly buff the soles to keep them soft and healthy.
Do you forget to give your skin extra care in the winter? Please share your thoughts.