Winter Skin Care

19 July 2017

By Musa Bwanali
When the temperature drops and cold winds whistle, the air gets chilly and dry, and that low humidity can be a disaster for skin! After all, it’s the humidity that helps keep skin smooth and deters dryness and flaking. Not only is your skin affected by the dry air outside, the dry heated air indoors doesn’t help either. This combination—cold and dry outside and hot and dry inside—is just too much, even for those with oily skin. As a result, our skin looks and feels dry, sensitive, dehydrated, and uncomfortable. The worst is chapped, dry lips – the bane of my existence!! As someone who enjoys stolen smooches, dry chapped lips are just the worst. So here are a few tips on how to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh and soft this winter.


From the Inside Out
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, apples, oranges and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider an omega-3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth. We also tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.


DIY Masks
Homemade hydrating masks can provide needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on your skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration. Make sure you apply your moisturizer as soon as you wash off your mask.


Avoid Toxins
If you have eczema or dermatitis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics (like wool) and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin. Choose you clothing carefully.


Lukewarm Showers, Not Hot
Hot showers are the epitome of amazing when it's cold outside. However, near-scalding showers are not good for your skin and will remove natural oils from it faster than it takes you to shave your legs. Therefore, if you're as huge of a fan of hot showers as I am, aim to take shorter ones. The steamy shower temperatures are not doing your skin any favours during winter. If you like singing a whole album in the shower, then take lukewarm showers, not hot.


Petroleum Jelly
There are always going to be debates on the pros and cons of using Petroleum Jelly, but as far as I’m concerned, if it worked for my 80 year old grandmother who can pass for a 60 year old then it will work for me. As far as moisturizing goes, think of petroleum jelly as creating a thick barrier between your skin and the environment. In order to best prevent breakouts, use petroleum jelly on a clean, washed face at night as it is greasy and not compatible with daytime activities.
 

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