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Top 10 Tips For Better Winter Skin: ‘Tis The Clear Skin Season!

Woman smiling in coat and furry hat.

It’s important to be taking care of your skin all year ‘round, but come winter, it might just be that much harder. Dry skin due to lack of moisture in the air and harsh winds is a common, uncomfortable sign that December has made its appearance. Chapped, flaky skin can be anywhere, but it’s more common in areas that are exposed to the cold weather. This means that areas like your face, lips, and hands if you don’t wear gloves are more at risk.

Covering up definitely helps, but it’s inevitable that some parts of your skin will be exposed to the harsh weather and dry air. However, there are ways to keep your skin hydrated and avoid what you might have accepted as an unpleasant winter reality.

1. Lukewarm Showers

Shower head with water pouring out.

Lukewarm showers are best in winter.

I can practically hear what you’re thinking (the same thing I though when I first learned this tip). “Sounds nice, but I’m not giving up on my hot showers in the freezing cold winter. Lukewarm is for summer. But it was a good try.” You might want to reconsider, though.
Hot water dries out your skin super quickly, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. You don’t have to have a cold shower; just make sure it isn’t super-hot.

2. Cleanse

It’s super important to be cleansing your face daily, preferably at night. When your skin is dry, its lipid layer isn’t able to keep out pore-clogging elements. This means things like dead skin, bacteria and leftover makeup. A buildup of these irritants clogs the pores and leads to pimples.

But you don’t have to worry. There are many affordable cleansers available regardless of your skin type. For oily combination skin, you can try Olay’s Deeply Clean Mineral Face Cleanser, which is most likely sold at your local supermarket. For dryer skin, you might want to try Garnier’s Clean+Nourishing Cleansing Oil, which is also easy to find and budget-friendly.

3. Exfoliate

While most people generally cleanse and moisturize their face, not everyone exfoliates. This is a big mistake – especially if you have dry skin. Exfoliating is crucial because it really penetrates the skin and removes any dead skin, leaving only the healthy skin. Of course, you must be particular about which exfoliating scrub you use, especially if your skin is sensitive or compromised.

Close up of sugared lips.

Dry lips need exfoliation.

In general, it’s recommended to exfoliate once a week – you don’t want to over-exfoliate, which could irritate your skin and have the adverse effect. It’s important to not only exfoliate your skin, but to also exfoliate your lips. This is because the skin on your lips is vulnerable and quite likely to peel, causing a buildup of dead skin. If you’re picky about what you put on your lips, why not try this homemade lip scrub? Completely natural and effective!

4. Tone

A good toner isn’t a complete must, but it’s definitely a good idea. It goes on after you exfoliate or cleanse the skin, but before you moisturize. Toners help to balance out your skin’s pH levels, which, in layman’s terms, means avoiding dry skin and ugly breakouts.

5. Moisturize

Woman dabbing row of lotion drops on her face.

Moisturizing keeps your skin hydrated in the winter.

This is an obvious one, but I’m going to say it anyway. At risk of sounding redundant, I’m going to stress that adding moisture to your skin (hence the name “moisturizer”) is absolutely necessary all year around, but especially during the winter. The trick is finding the right moisturizer for your skin type.

While you might have a favourite summer moisturizer, it may not be as effective during the winter. Be prepared to go through a few false starts before finding the moisturizer that works for your skin – but know that your efforts (and pimples) will be worth it once you find the perfect product that nourishes your skin and keeps it healthy and soft all winter long.

6. Use Sunblock

Snow flake.

Snow reflects the UV rays.

Most of us associate sun safety with the summer months. But the truth is, Slip-Slop-Slap is just as important in the winter months, because while it might look cloudy outside, those harmful UV rays are still there – even if it’s not warm outside. If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, sunblock is especially important, because snow reflects UV rays, almost doubling your exposure. If you don’t like the greasy feel associated with sunblock, try Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, available in SPF 30 through to 100.

7. Use Hand Cream

If you’re prone to dry winter skin, you’re probably no stranger to dry hands, either. A couple of winters back I was lazy about using hand cream, and after a few days my skin was scratched red raw and bleeding, until I finally did something about it. Hand cream is designed to heal your skin and keep any dryness at bay – and a little bit goes a long way. Similarly, if your face becomes dried out, use face cream.

8. Use Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm packaging.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is so well known, you’ll often hear people refer to the actual product of lip balm or chapstick as simply “Burt’s Bees”. There’s a reason this company is so famous for their chapstick, despite numerous imitations: cuz it’s a great product. Keep your lips moisturized this winter with a deliciously flavoured chapstick, and don’t suffer from those cracked, bleeding lips again.

9. DIY Face Mask

The pros of a DIY face mask is that you can customize it to suit your skin exactly, and it’s cheaper than buying one. The downside is that you have to make it yourself, obvs, but if you love projects and using your own homemade stuff, it’s definitely a great idea. Try this face mask to keep dry, flaky skin hydrated and soft.

10. Use A Humidifier

Tea Tree Essential Oil bottle next to packaging.

Tea Tree Essential Oil.

A humidifier adds moisture to the otherwise dry air, which helps your skin to heal. Being outside in the harsh winter weather can dry out your skin, so it’s important to have a humidifier in the room you spend the most time in over winter, to counteract the weather’s effects.

Humidifiers can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria, but adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the water in your humidifier can prevent bacteria from growing there. Plus, the antibacterial properties in the oil can help against common winter ailments like a cough or cold.

Conclusion

The key to gorgeous winter skin is adding moisture so your skin can retain its natural glow. Whether that means changing around or intensifying your skincare routine, or setting up a humidifier in your living room, there are ways to achieve that smooth skin without the dryness.

So invest in some winter care products for skin, and watch the dryness disappear before your very eyes!