When winter brings cold air, harsh winds and falling snow our way, we're quick to trade in our summer T-shirts and fall jackets for heavier coats, fluffy scarves and warm gloves. But did you know you should be changing more than just the clothes you wear on your body? It's very possible you need to change the products you use on your body, as well.
If you have acne-prone skin, winter calls for a different skincare regimen than the one that got you through the warmer months. Failing to adjust your skincare routine could result in dry, flaky skin that will only make acne worse.
Follow these 4 tips to keep your skin healthy this winter, and come this spring you'll find your skin is as fresh as the blooming flowers.
1. Keep it clean with the right products
Some skin cleansers are great for summer but not so great for winter. This is because in the winter, you need a cleanser that will not contribute to dry skin.
A good winter cleanser is one free of soap and other drying ingredients like salicylic acid and alcohol. A non-pore-clogging, oil-based cleanser will clean well but not remove too much oil. Try something with natural skin-cleansing ingredients such as plain milk or yogurt, or something aloe-based. Aloe not only helps to clean your skin, but moisturizes and tightens your skin just the right amount as well.
You can even get good results using steel-cut oats. Just soak 2 tablespoons of natural, steel-cut oats in 2-3 tablespoons of lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes. Use the milky liquid as you would any cleanser and the softened oats like a delicate sponge on your face. Rinse with warm water afterward to get the healthy but messy concoction off your face.
2. Moisturize properly all season long
Don't be fooled: Tight, dry skin is not healthy skin. It will not keep you from getting acne. In fact, dry, flaky skin only leads to more oil, which then mixes with bacteria to produce more acne.
Even if the light moisturizer you used for those warmer months worked well for you, it may not be good enough for your skin during cold weather. Try using an oil-based moisturizer this season, one with noncomedogenic oils such as almond, avocado, coconut, olive or jojoba oils.
And, as always, be sure to avoid ingredients like cocoa butter, shea oil/butter and oleic acid, which may only clog your pores.
3. Nourish your skin the way it deserves
We all know fruits are good for us, many of them providing vitamins that help heal our skin and keep it looking fresh. But did you know using fruit directly on your skin may be just what it needs, especially during winter?
Try blending together an array of ripe fruits--papaya, grapes, strawberries, mangoes--along with some plain yogurt. Apply this smooth mixture your face for about twenty minutes, and then rinse it off. You may do this once a week to keep your skin looking its best all season long.
4. Protect your largest organ from the weather
Sure, wearing a scarf is helpful for keeping the winter winds off our skin. But there are other necessary ways to protect your skin, both indoors and outdoors.
When indoors, keep the temperature between 68 and 70 degrees, meaning stay warm, but don't go overboard with the heat. Artificial heat can dry out your skin, so consider using humidifiers to keep the moisture in the air. Or simply places bowls of water near heating sources to help with this.
When outdoors, you need your SPF. We know, we know--it's not summer anymore. Maybe the sun isn't out as often. But the winter sun can be just as damaging as the hot summer sun, not to mention snow glare is no friend to your skin. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on all exposed body parts (even your hands!), applying about 30 minutes before going outside. And don't forget to reapply if you end up staying outside a long time.