Seasonal transitions can be harsh on your skin, especially if you’re not properly prepared. As temperatures drop, your skin will face a whole new set of challenges as it acclimates itself to its environment.
Just as you switch out your wardrobe for the colder weather, you’ll need to transition your skincare routine to protect your body from the elements. Consider these five tips to ensure a healthy fall and winter complexion:
1. Swap Out Your Beauty Products
Harsh environmental conditions can also accelerate premature aging. If you haven’t already, consider using a lotion or cream specifically formulated to help strengthen your skin’s barrier. Or, if you already notice visible signs of aging, consult your dermatologist about a stronger prescribed anti-aging treatment.
Your lightweight moisturizer probably won’t cut it during the winter. With the cold season fast approaching, you may want to consider swapping out your skincare products. Switch out any lotions or foaming products with cream cleansers, which boost hydration and are generally gentler on your skin. In addition, you should use products that contain humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, as these help draw and trap in moisture.
Bonus Tip: Like your skin, your hair may also become dry and brittle during the colder season. To protect your hair from the cold, apply a weekly hair mask, and add a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to your regimen, as well.
2. Consider Exfoliating
With the colder air, it’s not uncommon for your skin to become dry, flaky, and uneven. During fall and winter, dead skin cells can build up on your skin’s surface and make it appear dull. Regular exfoliation during the winter can help remove these impurities to reveal a softer, smoother complexion.
While exfoliation is important, excess scrubbing can leave your skin dry, irritated, and more susceptible to wind burn. If you’re already prone to dry skin, you may want to skip out on exfoliating and use a gentle scrub to remove impurities and promote cell turnover instead. Everyone’s complexion is different, so pay attention to how your skin reacts to different exfoliants. Choose one that suits your skin type, and always follow up with a moisturizer.
3. Protect Your Lips
Though you may pile on layers of clothing to protect your skin, your lips are often left exposed to the elements. The skin on your lips is more delicate and can’t produce oil on its own, which is why it tends to dry out much quicker than the skin on the rest of your body. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to protect your pout from the cold.
Saliva can cause further dryness and irritation, so it’s best to avoid licking your lips whenever possible. In addition, avoid picking at flaky or peeling skin to prevent further damage, and regularly apply a moisturizing lip balm to help heal and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. You can also protect your lips from harsh conditions by wearing a scarf to shield your mouth.
4. Wear Sun Protection
The sun probably isn’t your number one concern during the fall and winter. However, clouds, fog, and even snowfall have little impact on the sun’s harmful rays. That means you’re susceptible to sun damage, regardless of the time of the year.
Over time, sun damage can accumulate and cause premature aging, discoloration, and even skin cancer. Fortunately, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing these conditions by incorporating sun protection into your daily routine. As you transition to fall and winter, continue to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on any exposed areas of skin to ensure you’re always protected.
5. Use a Humidifier
Harsh winds and the cold, dry climate can deplete your skin of its natural moisture, and cranking up the heat can further exacerbate irritation and dryness. Using a humidifier to regulate your home’s climate during the fall and winter is a great way to keep your skin sufficiently hydrated.
Humidifiers help increase humidity levels in your home by emitting moisture into the room. For optimal health benefits, follow humidifier best practices, and wash it regularly to ensure your body only absorbs clean air. Place an appropriately sized humidifier in each room, and apply a humectant to help draw this moisture into your complexion.
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your skin, but it doesn’t have to. As the temperatures drop, keep these tips in mind to maintain a healthier complexion all year long.