The key to keeping skin moisturized when the temperature drops is to treat your skin gently. Here's how to take care of your skin in cold weather.
Although it's tempting in cold weather to take hot showers to warm up, try lowering the temperature of your bathwater slightly, because hot water will distress and further dry out your skin. Also, try to keep your showers shorter, or shower every other day. Switch to a creamier soap or shower gel. Look for ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E, or milk. Many soaps and shower gels contain moisturizing lotion specifically for dry skin. It's also important to apply a moisturizing lotion, cream, or even body oil, as soon as you get out of the shower. This helps lock the moisture in your skin. Moisturize your entire body - anywhere that the skin feels dry or tight. You should exfoliate your skin to help keep it soft and encourage cell turnover, but don't use a rough salt scrub; instead, look for exfoliating products specifically made for sensitive skin. If your skin is especially dry or sensitive, gently rubbing your skin with a warm washcloth is all the exfoliation you need.
Keeping your face moisturized when it's cold out is especially challenging, because the skin is thinner and even more sensitive. Avoid scrubbing your face. If you are using acne products, consider cutting back their use to once a day or every other day; these products can be very drying. When it's cold, even oily skin might need the extra moisture. It sounds old-fashioned, but in harsh cold weather, you can try using cold cream to remove make up and cleanse your skin. Keep your lips moisturized by applying lip balm throughout the day and avoid licking your lips. You can exfoliate your lips by applying a thick coat of lip balm and using a clean toothbrush to gently brush away dry skin.
It's not just the products you use that help keep your skin soft and moisturized when it's cold and dry outside. Is the air in your home very dry? Try lowering the heat a degree or two. Heating your home takes moisture out of the air. You want to be comfortable, but don't keep your home overheated. This is especially important at night. Try using a humidifier while you sleep. Your skin will absorb the extra moisture in the air, and it's also healthier and easier to breathe warm, moist air. Keeping some plants in your home will also help oxygenate the air and will give off some extra moisture. Even the clothes you wear can make a difference. Choose soft, comforting fabrics, and avoid any wools or other materials that irritate your skin. Treat your skin with care and it will stay soft, smooth, and comfortable even when it's cold outside.