Give Your Hands a Hand
Most of us don’t know this, but the skin on your hands is actually thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. Essentially, this means it's harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather! This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Here are a few ways to help your hands this winter.
- Wear cotton or natural fiber gloves when you go outside.
- Exfoliate your hands with your razor in the shower a couple of times a week. It’s quick and easy to shave the back of your hands to get rid of the dead skin. Make sure to apply a liberal amount of moisturizer afterwards and always wear SPF on your hands during the day.
- Use a heavy moisturizer at night and then wear gloves while you sleep once a week. This does wonders to keep hands soft!
It takes time to lift the damage we do to our skin each summer, and there’s a few key areas that are often over looked including the skin on our arms, legs and back. Removing dead skin from these areas will significantly increase the penetration of your moisturizer and will also help maintain moisture for you during the winter, since the heat we use to stay warm creates a dehydrated environment for our skin. You can use a body peel on any areas, elbows, heals, arms, legs, chest, hands and back. You're skin will thank you for it!
Humidifiers actually help your skin stay hydrated and supple in the winter! When the air is colder and drier, our skin can’t hold onto as much moisture as it does with warmer air. The reason we need to supplement moisture is because when it gets cold enough, the moisture on our skin evaporates into the air. Any way you can add humidity to the air is helpful. Humidifiers infuse the air with moisture, soothing dry, itchy, and cracked skin. One with an air purifier built in is preferable because water in the humidifier can contain bacteria, where mold can grow. It’s safer to filter it.
Add A Body Serum
Before putting on your moisturizer, use a body oil. I use avocado or coconut oil and keep it in my shower. I prefer to apply when my skin is still wet to lock in the moisture. I’ll turn off the shower and pat skin dry - then apply oil. Allow your oil to absorb into the skin completely then apply your moisturizer after you shower. I find this easier and it also ensures your clothes won’t get oily.
Load Up On Sunscreen
Even in the winter! Sunscreen is not just for summertime. Winter sun, combined with snow glare, can damage your skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and hands about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently.
You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer. However, as weather conditions change – so should your skin care routine and products. Find an "ointment" moisturizer that's oil-based, rather than water-based (Ps: Many lotions labeled as "night creams" are oil-based). The oil creates a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion.
Change Up Your Facial Products
During the winter, facial skin often becomes uncomfortably dry or cracked. Avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents. All of these can strip vital oil from your skin, which is important especially in during the wintertime. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are "deeply hydrating," rather than clay-based, which tends to draw moisture out of the face. You can use my HA Hydrating Serum, from StackedSkincare product line. This serum is loaded with hydrating ingredients including Hylauronic acid, Treholose, Lactic Acid and Niaminicide to boost hydration, firmness and restore your skin natural moisture. It’s simple – after cleansing apply 5-7 drops of the HA Hydrating Serum to the face and neck.
Take A Break From Super Hot Baths
We know soaking in a burning-hot bath feels amazing after frolicking out in the cold. But really, the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. You're better off with just warm water, and staying in the water a shorter amount of time. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can also help relieve dry, itchy skin.
Change Up Your Soap
To prevent chapping parched hands, embrace wipe-off, soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitizers. Choose a moisturizing soap-free cleanser or a hydrating antibacterial gel, then slather on lotion right away to lock in the moisture.
Try A Honey Scrub
Studies show that humectant honey reduces inflammation, and sugar (applied topically) increases circulation in skin. This can be especially helpful in winter when blood flow is typically diverted from the skin to keep your core warm. To soften stubborn dry patches on rough elbows and knees, a simple mix of honey and sugar makes for a great hydrating scrub.
Be Cautious Of The Materials You Wear & Sleep In
The softer your sheets and sleepwear, the better, but you needn't invest in material so expensive as silk. Tightly woven natural fabrics like cotton or cotton flannel are best for patients with sensitive skin or eczema. Avoid blends of cotton and synthetic fibers, which might cause irritation to the skin.
Protect Your Lips
A layer of sun-protective lip balm is all it takes to prevent lip chapping! We all know how horrible chapped lips can be – so apply some at least once a day to keep your lips from getting cracked and dry. Lip balm can be found virtually at any convenient store near you, so it’s easy to access tip, which will make your winter that much more bearable!
Sounds crazy, but this is honestly the most effective and efficient way I’ve found to moisturize my skin in the winter. If I’m very dry and itchy, I’ll moisturize my skin and then wrap seran wrap under my cloths, day or night, and within a few hours my skin feels totally hydrated. This is for super severe dry, sensitive skin – most people likely don’t need this level of moisture. If you have a eczema, I can't recommend this enough!
Shop StackedSkincare For All Your Dry Skin Needs!