When temperatures drop, a seasonal wardrobe change helps protect most of your body from the elements. But your face and hands are likely still exposed. Even the areas of skin protected by clothing can be affected by a harsh climate. That's why it's important to have a proper skin care regimen during seasons when the weather is cooler. This can help ensure your delicate features fare well even as blustery winds blow.
1/ Sunscreen smarts.
Most people know that slathering on the sunscreen is a must when heading to the pool or beach, but your skin can actually take a hit from the sun’s damaging rays year-around. Apply a sunscreen lotion or moisturizer containing SPF daily to reduce the risk and minimize your chances of sun spots and wrinkles.
2/ Healthy hydration.
When it’s hot, you’re more likely to feel thirsty and drink more, but staying well hydrated is important in cold weather, too. Proper hydration affects numerous body functions, such as ensuring your muscles and joints are well lubricated and helping your body to regulate its temperature. Water is the solution most experts recommend, but non-sugary options like tea can also help.
Even skin types that are more oily may need extra moisture when dry, cold conditions prevail.
3/ Food factors.
Although limiting the amount of fat you consume is generally recommended for a nutritious eating plan, in the fall and winter it’s especially important to be sure you’re consuming enough healthy fats and omega-3s to promote moisture from the inside out. Good sources include eggs, nuts, avocados and lean proteins like fish, turkey, chicken and beef.
4/ Clothing concerns.
Even if you don’t feel the chill, cold wind can do a number on your skin. Be sure to cover up adequately when outdoors to prevent the chapping and irritation that can come from sustained exposure. Also be wary of precipitation; be sure your outer layers repel water and that you’re able to change into dry clothing promptly if you do get wet.
5/ Ample exercise.
Getting your heart rate up helps get your blood circulating, which is not only good for burning calories and beefing up your muscles, it also promotes healthy skin. Sweating helps push impurities out of your pores, and the increased circulation helps distribute nutrients throughout your body, including the skin.
6/ Avoid irritants.
Especially if you have sensitive skin, cool wind can be brutal. Take care to avoid potential problems by sticking to softly textured fabrics that won’t get itchy. Take it easy on the exfoliating and be mindful of skin care products, soaps and detergents that may be particularly drying to already parched skin. Also skip the temptation to warm up in a hot shower, which can dry your skin even more.
7/ Manage moisture.
Even skin types that are more oily may need extra moisture when dry, cold conditions prevail. Oil-free options let you add moisture without over-stimulating oil glands, while natural oils such as coconut or jojoba are ideal for dryer skin. Apply lotion after every shower to trap in moisture, and as needed throughout the day to prevent chapping and cracking. Also, remember to give special attention to areas that are prone to damage, such as your lips and hands.
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto
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