Winter skincare for outdoor days
If the change in seasons has left you with dry skin, chapped lips, or flare-ups, it might be time to reconsider your winter skincare.
Outdoor fun in the winter weather can cause havoc on your skin. Low temperatures and low humidity create a harsh environment for skin that needs moisture to stay supple and strong. And if you live in a windy climate, so much the worse: persistent wind can severely dry your skin, leaving you with windburn—chapped, tingly red patches which also leave you more susceptible to sunburn. (In fact, windburn and sunburn often happen at the same time, because the wind degrades the skin’s natural protective abilities.)
Winter weather is known to worsen chronic skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.
Here are three simple steps to making sure your skin stays hydrated, protected, and healthy in the cold.
1. Protect your skin from the sun
The sun can deliver irreversible damage, even when you don’t expect it. When you associate sunblock with sunny beaches, it can be hard to remember that it’s just as necessary in the winter. Especially if you plan to hike or ski in high altitudes, where the UV rays are stronger.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your face and any exposed skin before heading outside. During winter activities, be sure to reapply as often as recommended.
- Carry a lip balm with SPF and reapply often.
- Use hats and scarves to protect the sensitive face and neck skin from UV rays and wind.
- Unsure about which sunscreen to use? Learn more in our post about chemical and mineral sunscreens.
2. Protect your skin’s surface
Keep the cold weather’s drying effects to a minimum by investing in good hydration. Adding hydrating habits to your winter skincare routine will help keep your skin healthy and less susceptible to drying, flaking, and cracking.
- Use rich, skin-soothing lotions, like Eucerin, for your body and specially formulated creams, like CeraVe, for your face, and apply them right after a shower or bath, to lock in moisture.
- Try to avoid scalding showers. As good as they are for warming up and reducing stress, they strip skin of natural oils and damage keratin cells, making skin weak, dry, and prone to itchiness.
- Run a humidifier. Central heating dries out the air in your home, worsening the effects of winter weather on your skin.
3. Protect your skin from within
As a protective barrier, your skin’s job is to be pliable yet tough, protect you from the elements and environmental irritants. It needs to stay moisturized and constantly regenerate keratin cells. Give your skin a healthy head-start by supplying it with what it needs from the inside.
- Help your skin stay strong with supplements formulated specifically to support skin renewal and moisture.
- Drink plenty of water and remember to maintain your electrolytes if you’re participating in vigorous activities.
- Eat skin-supporting foods like fish and nuts for fatty acids, and sweet potatoes and bell peppers for Vitamin A.
Skincare is critical, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Remember, your winter skincare basics are sunscreen, moisture, and the nutrients it needs.