Cold weather skin is not hot.
When it’s cold outside, as it has been for the past week here in Gainesville, I don’t feel like worrying about my skin. I feel like skipping class to avoid the cold, and staying in with a bowl of soup while watching reruns of my favorite shows. Granted, I’m a Floridian through and through. To me, 65 degrees is absolutely frigid. Be that as it may, the “cold” really takes a toll on my skin, even if it is only 60 degrees outside.
When the thermostat dips below 70, I snap into my cold weather beauty regimen like a soldier at roll call. There are various ways to battle the bitter cold, and some seem downright strange. But, trust me, they work. Follow these tips, and your skin will stay smooth and supple until Spring Break.
When it’s cold outside, a person’s first impulse is probably to turn on the indoor heater. But that’s the worst thing you can do to your skin. Surprisingly, your skin doesn’t dry out solely because of the cold air outside. It dries out the most from contantly jumping into hot, dry indoor air from cold outdoor air. Think of indoor heaters as evil Cyborg machines sent to suck the moisture from your skin, and try to keep your home as temperate as possible without turning on the heater.
Similarly, you should avoid bathing in steaming hot water for more than 10 minutes at a time. I know it feels amazing to melt into a hot bath after a long day in the cold wind, but the heat from the water dries up your skin — just like that pesky heater. You can take hot baths, just keep the time spent lounging in the tub to 10 minutes or less.
Slather your body in thick lotion — or, better yet, unscented body oil — right after you get out of the tub. Your pores are still open from the steam, so your skin is better equipped to absorb the lotion. Try to keep the lotion or oil unscented, though, because artificial fragrance can irritate already sensitive skin.
Last, but not least, remember to pay attention to delicate skin. That includes the skin around your eyes, as well as your hands and lips. Skin here is thinner, so it not only dries out more quickly than out areas, but is also more prone to wrinkling later in life. Wear a moisturizing eye cream or gel (cream for dry skin types, gel for oily) when you go outside. Buy a good lip balm, but nothing medicated. The tingly sensation might feel good on your lips temporarily, but the ingredients in the medication actually make lips drier in the log run. So defeatist. I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees lip balms, which are cheap and all-natural. The honey-flavored balm is decadent, trust me.
Now for the hands. Hands are one of the first places on the body that show age, because people generally forget to put sunscreen on them. Also, when the rest of your body is bundled up, hands tend to be exposed to the harsh elements. Fight signs of aging by slatering your hands in Neutrogena’s Norweigan Formula -Hand Cream with SPF. It’s rich, fragrance-free and a dab lasts forever. In a pinch, you can even use it on your lips.