I hail from the Frozen Tundra, aka: northern Wisconsin, where people wear shorts when the temperature is a balmy 30 degrees Fahrenheit . As an avid cross-country skier and runner, extremely low winter temps and wind chills don’t keep me from getting outside and staying active. However, just because I am Wisconsin born-and-raised does not mean I have skin any thicker or more frostbite-resistant than that of a southern California native.
So what can we all do to protect our skin from harsh winter weather? Here are five ways to keep skin healthy inside and out during those cold winter months.
Drink lots of water.
We have all heard this a million times, but let’s be honest, If you want a clear, supple and glowing complexion then water is your new best friend. Staying hydrated will help to keep your skin from getting dry and flaky. Plus, drinking more water will help keep your body hydrated and all systems functioning properly.
Take shorter showers.
Wait… what? Taking long hot showers in the winter can actually dry out your skin more than you think. The hot temps can strip skin of its natural oils and irritate the surface. Also, who doesn’t want to save on energy and water bills? To keep skin from becoming dry and itchy simply turn down that hot water dial and shorten your shower time—your hair will reap the benefits too!
Know how to knit? Create something warm! My sister made me a chunky knit scarf that’s perfect for protecting my neck and face on long walks to and from class. Even if you don’t have a knitter in the family, splurging on a cute warm scarf, hat and mittens will be worth it when the temperatures are below zero.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
There are hundreds of products on the market for your skin. Knowing what to choose can be tricky, especially if you are on a tight budget. I have a few favorites of my own that won’t break the bank and are sure to work on most skin types.
My all time favorite moisturizer is classic Vaseline. It’s perfect for adding moisture to skin on any part of the body, and you only need to use a small amount to get results. My number two is Dermatone. The ingredients in this tiny blue tin protect skin from wind and chapping, and it’s a great product for winter athletes. Finally, I love homemade body scrub. Exfoliating in the winter is even more important to prevent skin from becoming flaky. Be sure to use a recipe that includes honey or olive oil to soften and hydrate skin (you can try this one from TDQ).
Eat your zinc.
We all know that a healthy diet will show in your complexion, but some healthy foods are better than others. Eating foods that contain zinc is especially good for your skin. Zinc aids in the formation of collagen, which is an essential building block of skin. At your next meal indulge in more spinach, nuts, seeds, salmon and dark chocolate (yes!).
So whether you are weathering the cold weather indoors, or braving the elements outside, take care of your body’s largest organ. Use these tips to keep your skin supple and glowing through all four seasons.