If you love skating, skiing and sledding, then you probably love snow! And although the cold weather is great for all those activities, it can wreak havoc on your skin. Chapped lips, dry skin, and even frostbite are all potential problems for snow-loving folks. So, here are some tips for winter skin care to help you sport soft, glowing skin while enjoying your favorite cold weather activities.
1. Sun protection: Sunscreen isn’t just for hot summer days. Thanks to factors such as sweating and UV-reflecting snow, those who enjoy the slopes may need to be especially sun smart. In fact, our skin may be more susceptible to sunburns on the mountain than on the beach. If a slope is 10,000 feet above sea level, for example, skin-damaging UV radiation can be up to 45% stronger. Before heading outdoors, slather on a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
2. Use a humidifier: Cracked lips, scaly skin and itchy scalps are usually aggravated by the drying effects of central heating. Adding a humidifier to a room is a simple solution that can put much-needed moisture into the air in your home or office.
3. Make sure your hands and feet are dry: Cold, wet clothes can irritate sensitive skin and may lead to eczema flare-ups. Keep spare mitts on hand in case the ones you’re wearing get wet. The same goes for feet – if your feet have gotten wet, change your socks and boots.
4. Say no to long hot showers: After a day of snow fun, nothing feels better than a long hot shower, but unfortunately hot water can further dry out our skin by sapping its natural oils. To keep your healthy, hydrated glow, limit your showers to less than 10 minutes and use lukewarm water.
5. Be gentle: Certain skin conditions can be made worse in the winter. To avoid aggravating eczema or other dry skin conditions, avoid harsh soaps, toners and exfoliators. Simplify your skin care routine and opt for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser or soap such as Castile. Some soothing ingredients to look for in a natural cleanser include:
• almond flour
• ground oats
6. Ward off windburn: Outdoor sports enthusiasts need to bundle up with protective clothing such as hats, scarves and gloves. If you are skiing, you need to protect your nose and cheeks to avoid windburn and even frostbite. If you do get windburn, apply aloe vera, just like you would to a sunburn to help soothe and heal.
7. Stay hydrated: It’s important to drink plenty of water year-round to nourish our skin – especially when exercising. Any activity that causes sweating, such as skiing or snowboarding, will require us to rehydrate often.
8. Help your hands: Our hands are the first parts of our body to show signs of the wear and tear of winter activities. Be gentle on dry, hurting hands, and wash with warm – not scalding – water. Consider scrubbing only the palms and between the fingers if your knuckles appear red and chapped. For extra softening, apply an oil-based moisturizer throughout the day.
9. Love your lips: I love skiing and my lips are the first to feel the effects of the cold after a few runs. Keep a nourishing lip balm in your mitt or jacket pocket and apply often.
10. Moisturize! The most effective time to moisturize is after you take a shower or bath while your skin is still damp. For soft skin both on and off the slopes, moisturize dry areas such as your face and hands two to three times a day. Almond oil and Jojoba oil are perfect for post bath/shower.
Photo from here, with thanks.