The winter months can be hard on your skin. Indoors, heating dries the air. Outdoors, your skin has to grapple with cold temps, harsh winds, and low humidity. To top it all off, we’re less interested in drinking cold water come wintertime, so we may be more dehydrated. And while we’re generally more covered up in the winter, UV rays can still damage the skin that’s exposed.
Skin is our largest organ, so it’s important to keep it in great shape, no matter what the season throws at it. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Drink liquids. During the winter months, it can be harder to drink enough water because we don’t get as thirsty as we do in hotter weather. But cold water isn’t the only beverage (or food!) that can help you stay hydrated. Hot tea, warm water with lemon, clear soups, hot cider—there are lots of warming ways to get fluids. Think outside the tap, and set a goal to drink plenty of liquids.
- Wash your face. At the end of each day, take a few moments and wash your face—it’s a simple but important way to take care of your skin. Washing removes oil, dirt, pollutants, and makeup. Find a gentle cleanser that works with your skin type. Use warm water to rinse, since hot water can irritate the skin.
- Eat more fruit. Fruit is especially good for your skin. It contains water for extra hydration, as well as skin-loving vitamins. The antioxidants in fruits like citrus and berries fight skin-damaging free radicals. The potassium in fruits such as papaya and banana helps keep cells properly hydrated—in essence, moisturizing your skin from the inside out. In addition, fill your plate with whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins. Just like these healthy foods keep your body happy, they always keep your skin glowing.
- Examine your skin. Skin changes over time, and it’s important to check it periodically and keep track of moles and blemishes. Since one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime, see a dermatologist regularly for skin checkups. While you may be spending less time outside in the winter months, UVA rays can still damage the skin. To prevent both cancer and skin damage, apply sunscreen to your face every day. It’s easier to prevent the signs of aging skin before they start than to repair the damage later.
- Moisturize. The dry winter months bring on chapped skin. Keep your skin moisturized daily by using a lotion or body oil. Cover bare skin with gloves and scarves when going outside.
We may think less about caring for our skin in the wintertime, but it’s important to pay just as much attention to it now as we do during the warmer seasons.
Dana Lester has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is passionate about holistic wellness, eating fruit, and writing.