How The Cold Months Affect Your Skin
Everyone responds differently to the change of seasons. In the colder months, some people cheer up at the sight of leaves falling, while others scramble to find ways to beat seasonal depression. Some pack on the pounds during the holiday season, due to all of the cookies in the office and candy-centric gifts. Others lose weight because they aren’t out having boozy brunches on sunny patios every weekend. And, of course, one’s skin can have a variety of reactions. Some people love the winter because it’s when their skin looks the prettiest. The sweat and sun of summer cause them to break out and look blotchy, and they’re glad to see it go. Other women, however, condemn winter as the season that messes with their complexion. If you’re the latter, you should know about how winter affects your skin, and what you can do about it.
Caps and earmuffs
You’re wearing beanies, scarves, and earmuffs to stay warm. But these touch your forehead, chin, and cheeks and can carry acne-causing bacteria. Don’t forget that you still sweat even when it’s cold out, so these winter accessories are grabbing onto some germs.
Clean accessories often
Make sure to clean your winter accessories often, especially those that will touch your bare skin. This could be an excuse to expand your collection of warm hats and other such items.
Long but dehydrating showers
After waiting on the cold sidewalk for a bus or taxi, or walking home on the chilly streets, all you want to do is take a nice, long, hot bath. Unfortunately, all of those vapors dry out your skin.
Keep baths short
Do your best to keep bath and shower times the same that they were during the summer. Some steam is good to open the pores and help them take in your moisturizer, but not too much.
That old cleanser
During the summer, you likely used a drying cleanser because your face constantly felt greasy. Now, however, when you aren’t sweating nearly as much, that cleanser could just be stripping your skin of necessary oils.
Switch to a gentle cleanser
Switch to a gentle cleanser during the winter months. Since sweat isn’t clogging your pores as much, you don’t necessarily need one with such strong acne-fighting properties.
You’re blasting the heater
You want to keep the inside of your home nice and toasty, so you’re running that heater all day and night. This, however, makes the air inside of your home very dry, which isn’t great for your skin.
Add a humidifier
While in summer you may have used a dehumidifier, now it’s time to switch to a humidifier. Keeping humidity levels balanced in your home will stop your pores from over-producing oil.
You aren’t using sunscreen
Now that the sun appears to be hiding, you’re ditching the sunscreen. But don’t let the weather fool you—you can still suffer UV damage in the winter.
You still should use sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen all year round is an important part of sun safety. In fact, if you have hyperpigmentation or sun spots, you may have picked those up during the winters when you skipped sunscreen—not during the summer.
The weather dries you out
Overall, the winter weather can be very drying on the skin. You likely notice that you have to apply lip balm much more often when it’s cold out, and while the skin on your face doesn’t noticeably peel as much as that on your mouth, it’s still suffering.
Get a better moisturizer
Don’t use the same moisturizer you were using during the summer. You need to upgrade to a deeply hydrating one for the winter months. Consider adding hyaluronic acid to your routine since it helps your skin retain moisture.
You’re wearing wool
Wool keeps you nice and warm. It’s so insulating, in fact, that you barely need to layer when you have a big wool coat. However, it’s also very itchy and can irritate the skin.
Layer with cotton
Even if your wool sweater keeps you warm enough, you should still layer with a cotton t-shirt or tank top beneath. Make sure only natural fabrics actually come in contact with your skin, and put your wool over those.
You aren’t exercising
You aren’t exercising enough because, well, it’s too cold outside to jog, and driving through the snow to the gym sounds miserable. Plus, nobody notices the extra pounds under your big sweaters.
Keep that blood flowing
Exercise is important for your skin because it maintains healthy circulation in your face. This is an important part of your skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself. So, however you have to, keep pumping iron in the winter.