7 Ways to Protect Your Skin During Cold Weather
Only 29% of people prefer the cold, winter months.
But there’s just something about that first snowfall of the season that’s hard to dislike. Whether it brings you to the slopes or catching snowflakes on your tongue — it’s undeniably magical.
You can’t seem to remember why you ever wished winter away in the first place!
And then …. it hits you.
The itchy skin.
The chapped lips.
The dry, cracked hands.
Don’t let the side effects of winter keep you cooped up in the house until March. These seven tips can keep your skin smooth and protected in the cold weather!
Avoid Hot Water
A glass of red wine, spruce-scented candles, a holiday Spotify playlist, and a steamy bubble bath. The perfect stress relief after a long day at the office.
Unless, of course, it’s the dead of winter.
Hot baths and showers are notorious for a few things. Some good, like pain relief or a better night’s sleep. Some borderline nightmarish, like relentless itchy, dry skin.
That very same water that’s helping you feel “zen” is also robbing your body of natural oils.
But here’s the good news:
You don’t have to join the dark side and learn to love cold baths.
Using a gentle body wash, lukewarm water, and patting your skin dry can keep your skin well-moisturized when the temperatures drop.
Once Labor Day hits and the beaches close, all signs of summer disappear. The bathing suits, flip-flops, and sunscreen return “home” to the attic until next June.
But the sun doesn’t get that same memo.
The sun’s dangerous UV rays continue to shine uninterrupted year-round. Your risk of sunburn — and even skin cancer — might be even higher as you’re on the slopes!
The invisible dangers:
Altitude and reflections.
That trusty ski lift pulling you hundreds of stories toward the Black Diamond is also bringing you closer to the sun. Which comes with the unpleasant side effect of a 5% greater risk of UV ray exposure.
That Instagram-worthy snowy glisten is almost as strong as the sun itself!
So, whenever your snow days bring you to the trails, slopes, or neighborhood snowball fight, don’t forget to lather on SPF 30 sunscreen first.
Moisturize More Often
Low humidity, harsh body soaps, frequent handwashing, and hot baths are a winter-themed recipe for disaster when it comes to your skin.
The natural surface-level moisture is all but gone.
And feigning basic hygiene practices to prevent itchy, dry, cracked, and red skin is a far cry from “socially acceptable.”
Luckily, this is not an either-or scenario!
Regularly moisturizing your skin after showering, washing your hands, or coming in from the cold can add an artificial layer of oil to your skin.
Don’t forget to lather on more when your skin starts feeling dry again! All you have to do is ride out this winter, and your skin will soon be back to its usual smooth self.
Get a Humidifier
Unless you’re on shoveling duty or have an upcoming ski trip, you’ll probably hole up inside from December to February.
But here’s the kicker:
Cranking up the thermostat and burning logs in the fireplace might be pulling even more moisture from the air. Almost as bad as the frigid outdoor winds.
The best way to dodge the inescapable dryness — and the resulting cracked hands — is by installing a humidifier inside your home.
Place it in a room where you spend the most time, and then set the humidity between 35% and 50% (any higher and you’ll get mold!).
Never again sacrifice smooth, touchable skin.
Resist the Elements
Is there anything more painful than a chilly 20 mph wind gust hitting the raw skin on your face? Or waterlogged gloves stealing heat from the rest of your body?
The winter elements can be brutal on your skin — and everywhere else.
So, the best way to protect yourself from the winter cold and blistering winds is by bundling up and adding the following to your wardrobe:
- Face (or ski) masks
- Snow goggles
- Gloves or mittens
- Thick socks
Don’t forget to come inside when you feel cold or when your clothes become wet. A quick clothing change later, and you’ll be back exploring the snowy oasis.
Remember Your Lip Balm
Let’s be honest.
That tube of lip balm from last winter disappeared into the depths of your glove compartment at midnight on March 20.
The next time you’ll buy a replacement tube is when your lips are already painfully chapped and sore. By then, you’re doing little more than damage control!
What you need is an ointment-based lip balm. Slather it on before you go outside and whenever your lips feel dry.
Moisturizing balms will shield your lips from harsh winter winds while keeping them well-hydrated.
No peeling, flaking, or bleeding!
Wear Soft Clothes
The only thing that can make your winter dry skin even worse — yes, it’s possible — is wearing rough clothing that causes more irritation!
Here’s a surprise for you:
Some of the coziest and most popular winter fabrics, like wool, can make your skin feel dry, scaly, and ashy.
When you choose your next outfit, be sure to select fabrics that are soft on delicate skin and warm. Synthetic fleeces and silk underlayers are a great place to start.
Dry winter skin always hits when you least expect it.
So, create your very own “winter weather toolkit” to stay safe during your winter travels.
Pack the following items in your purse, backpack, or even coat pocket:
- Hand moisturizer
- A pair of gloves (hand warmers are a bonus)
- Lip balm
- A travel-sized sunscreen
And when the weather is particularly fierce, stay inside! Brisk 40 mph winds, below zero temperatures, and heavy snowfall will only dry your skin out more.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Arch at Bloomington to help them with their online marketing.