Seasonal Skin Care Tips for Winter
Follow these simple skin care tips to avoid developing dry winter skin this year
Do you love the idea of getting cozy by a fire in a warm, heated house after being out in the biting, stinging cold? Maybe you do, but your skin certainly doesn’t. The winter months can take a significant toll on your skin’s health, when you’re outdoors or indoors. Fortunately, these seven winter skin care tips should help you protect your skin during the colder months of the year.
What you need to know about how winter air affects your skin
There's a reason why your skin turns a rosy red color and your lips become chapped during the winter months, and it isn't because its cold outside. Not directly, anyway. The real cause of dry winter skin is the lack of humidity in the air. On any given day, there will be a certain amount of moisture suspended in the air in gaseous form. When the temperature drops, some of that water will re-liquify and fall to the ground as rain, snow, or sleet. The colder the temperature becomes, the more moisture the air will lose.
Your skin depends on a certain amount of moisture being present in the surrounding air, so when humidity levels fall below that point, your skin will quickly use up its limited moisture reserves and becomed dried out.
Heated indoor air is even worse for your skin. The air inside your home is the same air outside; it's just been heated artificially. This means that, although the air feels warm, it's still just as dry as the air outside. Thanks to the artificial heat though, the air inside your home now once again has the ability to absorb moisture. But, with no source of moisture to be found inside other than the moisture your body is producing to keep your skin hydrated, you may find your skin becoming dry and dehydrated even faster indoors as the heated air causes your skin's moisture reserves to evaporate.
Seven skin care tips to stay hydrated during the dry winter months
- Use an oil-based moisturizer. Oil-based moisturizers such as our Body Butters, as opposed to water-based moisturizers, help your skin to retain moisture during winter. If your skin is already naturally oily, just avoid using your oil-based moisturizer on your face. Coconut oil is a particularly good choice if you have chapped lips or dry skin.
- Avoid certain clay masks. Some clay masks suck oil out of the skin. During the summertime, this can help cleanse the deep layers of facial skin, but during winter, it will just dry out your face. If you must use a facial mask, consider using a Dead Sea Mud Mask (which actually moisturizes your skin while it deep cleanses) and following it up with a good moisturizer.
- Avoid highly alkaline soaps. Skin is naturally acidic and needs to stay that way in order to remain moist and smooth. Alkaline soaps are basic, and will neutralize your skin’s natural acids, drying it out. For a good winter soap, look for one that contains numerous moisturizers and has a pH (the measure of acidity versus alkalinity) below 7. We formulate all of our natural soaps to be gentle and moisturizing to your skin, so if you don't know the pH of a particular bar, don't worry!
- Use Dead Sea Bath Salts. Dead Sea Salt, unlike other bath salts such as Epsom, will not dry out your skin.(In fact, they'll help your skin absorb more moisture by clearing the toxins out of your pores and infusing your skin with minerals, which act like vitamins for your skin's metabolism.) Our Dead Sea Salts for the Soul also have aromatherapy benefits, and we also offer Dead Sea Salt Conditioning Soaks, which have added Shea Butter for additional moisturizing.
- Use a humidifier in your home. Whether you have electric heat, gas heat, or wood heat, all will dry out the air in your home, and thus, your skin too. Having a lit gas or wood fireplace, while inspiring a cozy, traditional feeling of warmth, will exacerbate skin dryness. Dry skin, if untreated, can turn red and swollen, or even start to crack. But you don’t have to avoid using heat or your fireplace to protect your skin, just keep a humidifier on at all times to help put moisture back into the air.
- Use sun protection. Sunscreen isn’t just for summer outings at the beach. Even if the temperature outside is below freezing, you can still become sunburned, especially if there is snow on the ground, as sunlight will reflect off it. If you're worried about the added chemicals some commercial sunscreens contain, consider using skin care products made with natural ingredients that possess sunlight protective properties like this Avocado Face Cream.
- Wear gloves. The skin is thinner than the skin on any other part of your body, so it’s very easy for your hands to become dried out and start to itch or crack. Wearing gloves every time you go outdoors will help reduce the likelihood of your hands drying out. Be sure to always wear dry gloves too, as wet gloves will encourage skin irritation rather than prevent it.
- Don’t make your bath too hot. A very hot bath may feel great after being out in the cold, but the shock of very hot water on skin after having been very cold can break down the lipid barriers in skin, resulting in a loss of moisture. For best results, stick with a warm bath with added moisturizers.