Dry, cracked skin got you looking like Tyrone Biggums from “Chappelle Show?” Ashy isn’t classy my friend. The truth of the matter is the fall and winter season’s cold air strips away the lipids on our skin that are there to moisturize and protect the skin. Once you say “adios” to that protection, we’re left open to irritation and bacteria that can cause dryness and rough patches. Adding to that, winter habits like taking hot showers and alternating between the cold and blasting heat can even further dry out the skin. The key to better skin this winter is knowing what you’re up against and taking a few simple steps to keep that mug in check.
Moisturizing: The Key To Success
As you may or may not have guessed, dry skin needs moisturizing. Rocket science right? There are several ways to attack this moisturizing game and whether you like it or not, it’s not only going to help your skin feel better and keep you looking your most handsome, but, long-term, it’s going to keep you looking younger and prevent premature aging. Now we’re talking major keys...
Put The Lotion in the Basket
Speaking of moisturizer, if you don’t normally use a moisturizer, WTF are you waiting for? If you already do, give yourself a pat on the back (with a palmful of aloe-enriched lotion of course), but don’t rest on your laurels. It never hurts to go with a stronger formula until temperatures warm up in the spring. Maybe it’s obvious but you’re going to want to use something that’s specific to the part of the body it’s going on. That means a facial moisturizer on the face and regular lotion on the rest of you. As we mentioned before, our facial skin is very delicate and requires some special care, so make sure you’re using the right stuff. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive either, most drug stores will carry great facial moisturizers from name brands like Neutrogena and Nivea.
Water: Friend and Foe
Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter snow as it is in the heat of summer. Our skin is our largest organ and without water, the skin has no chance of hydrating, so chug it down. If you’re the supplement type, consider adding fish oil to your rotation as it can also help you put that water to better use. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and it can actually encourage the skin cells to hang onto more water. Your daily grooming routine can have an effect on skin dryness as well. Washing the face and hair strips away some of the natural oils on the body, so if you’ve got fair to dry skin, keep your soapy scrubs down to once per day. In addition to dryness, over-washing can actually encourage the skin to create more oil, the bad kind that will clog your pores when it has nowhere to go but on top of all those dry skin cells. When you do wash, we’re hoping you’re using a face-specific cleanser on that mug of yours. Bar and body soaps are much too strong and drying for use on your face, so keep it gentle. Using a very gentle exfoliator can also help to slough off some of the flaky skin, but always follow up with a moisturizer.
Don’t Feel The Burn
Always remember that sun protection is important all year round. You don’t have to be a Nepalese Sherpa guide to know that you can get burned in the winter. If you’ve ever spent an unprotected sunny day on the ski slopes then you’ll know about that firsthand. Many moisturizers come standard with an SPF, so look for one that doubles up on extra hydration and you’ll be good to go any time of the year.