Being a homegrown Idaho gal, I’m no stranger to “winterizing” my car, my wardrobe.. okay.. pretty much my whole life for MOST of the year during those harsh, dry, cold months that are approaching us. My skin is something I haven’t really thought of winterizing, but with how dry and harsh the late fall/winter season is, skin takes a brutal beating. Therefore, this year, things are about to get crazy with banning anything that deals with showing my cracks (no pun intended.)
I know the word “winterize” might seem a little premature since it is just barely Fall, but we never know when it’s going to hit us, do we?! I can’t remember too many Halloweens that it didn’t snow in my neck of the woods. So, I’m gettin’ prepped in advance this year! I have several tips I’m about to lay the smack down on in the skin moisturizing department. Heaven knows I’m not getting any younger, and these growing wrinkles that show up daily are in need of some serious time out.
So ,I’ve gathered some SUPER helpful and EASY tips to focus on this fall and winter before they rear their ugly, dry, harsh heads (holy over dramatic, because Fall is actually so pleasant and gorgeous, and Winter isn’t so bad either.. but go with me here, I’m trying to draw you in. Working? Lie to me if you have to.)
Most of these tips I’ve gathered are from various dermatologists across the country, some from random blogs, and some from personal experience.
Let’s get this party started:
**6 tips on how to Winterize your skin**
1. LOAD UP on the RIGHT Lip Balm
Not all lip balms are created equal! So, your cotton candy flavored Bonnebelle chapstick might have to take a backseat this winter!
Some lip balms, in fact, contain ingredients that can actually CAUSE dryness. Mineral oil (petroleum jelly), certain flavorings, and perfumes can also dry out the lips.
Try to find natural, oil-based chapstick, or one that has shea or cocoa butter in it. We all love Burt’s Bee’s, right?! I also LOVE the brand Hawaiian. And SPF in lip balm is A MUST.
ANDDDDD…to get rid of those dreadful chapped kissers, try using a SOFT toothbrush to exfoliate those dry patchy, chapped lips! I read an article that suggested that crazy tip, and it TOTALLY WORKS! Gently brush lips with a SOFT toothbrush, and THEN apply your (natural oil based) chapstick for ridiculously amazing lips!
2. STEAMY/HOT SHOWER OR BATHS ARE EXTREMELY DRYING. I almost bawled my eyes out when I found out that steamy hot baths/showers can actually strip your skin of moisture!
“Exposure to hot water with temperatures over 98.6 degrees causes blood-vessel dilation that results in water loss throughout the epidermis. If you crave heat, keep it under five minutes, and stick with a soap-free body wash instead of bar soap or anything highly perfumed. Pat — don’t rub — your skin dry, and moisturize while it’s still damp to help your cream penetrate.” (~New Jersey dermatologist Dr. Robin Ashinoff)
3. Sometimes during the winter I just want to stay inside all cozy by the fire. This can actually add to your dry skin. The heat can make your skin parched out of its mind. Get some fresh air, and then when you do come in and get cozy by the fire with your tube socks and hot cocoa, grab a humidifier and keep it running every night! When you put a moisturizing cream on your face, and have a humidifier running, your skin with actually suck in all that goodness even more!
A room heated by a furnace sucks the moisture right out of the air. Sleeping with a humidifier, with the door closed to trap the moisture in, will tell that moisture-sucking furnace where to go.
4. Thicker moisturizer does not mean MORE moisture.
“Concentrated doesn’t necessarily equal optimum hydration,” says Annet King, director of training and development for the International Dermal Institute. “An overdose of lipids can actually trap dead cells and leave skin looking duller.” King suggests layering serums under creams in order to boost moisture. Facialist Sonia Dakar agrees: “Serums are light, yet have super-concentrated ingredients — ideal for absorption.”
-I have a moisturizer that is as thick as peanut butter, I use to use it 1-2 times a week and thought I was just working my moisture magic. What’s important is the ingredients contained in them, not the thickness.
Annet King says to look for petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid, ceramides, dimethicone or glycerin in the light moisturizing serums we choose.
5. Cracked Heels:
Anyone else’s heel stick to their flannel sheets sometimes? If not, don’t judge me. Okay, do. Because its disgusting!
I have chronic dry heel for sure.
I wish I could say I haven’t almost sent my husband to the emergency room with scratches so deep they bleed from rubbing my cracked, scaly, sandpaper heels against his legs at night. (I’m never dramatic, and I never exaggerate.) But seriously.
Dry, cracked feet are never sexy. To zap those convulsing callus’s: cover feet in a thick moisturizer (I always use Hemp OR Keri lotion.. works wonders!) Wrap feet in Saran Wrap, and pull on a pair of socks for a couple hours. Try to sit or lie down while the moisturizer soaks in. The same treatment can be done on hands, except try plastic bags and keep hands in a pair of socks. A half-hour usually does it for me. If the callus(s) are pretty vicious, I will, very lightly, take a pumice stone to them right after I take off the saran wrap.
6. Avoid tap water on your face if ultra dry/sensitive
Think about avoiding rinsing your face with tap water if you have ultra dry/sensitive skin. Tap water can contain harsh minerals that are especially drying to the skin. Every state’s water contains different minerals, some harsher than others, but just to be on the safe side, I try as often as I can to use a cold cream/cleansing pad like Pond’s to cleanse my face or I use bottled water if I’m feeling like my skin is in need of some extra TLC.
The late fall and winter months make it challenging to maintaining healthy skin. We are always rushing in out out of our warm heated homes, and then back out into the chilly, brisk air which can both cause moisture loss in the skin. While lotions and creams replace some of that moisture, it’s better to prevent the moisture loss in the first place.
Skin that’s dry, cracked, or irritated is vulnerable to infection, and that’s why dermatologists say it’s important to change your skin care regimen along with the seasons in order to boost your body’s natural defenses.
What works in the warm, humid months of summer may leave your skin dry and chapped during the cold, dry months of winter. In humid conditions, the skin soaks up water from the air, but when the humidity falls, the skin loses a natural moisture source.
Will you be showing your cracks this winter?!