Winter is the time of year when people must take even more care of dry skin. In winter, the combination of the cold outdoors and the heat indoors can make the condition even worse. Also, trying to conserve energy by wearing heavier clothing makes most body skin very dry. Thus, it is very important to learn how to care for skin in winter.
Many women spend hours each day on grooming, hairstyling, applying makeup and choosing the right shades of eye shadow and lipstick. Yet the most important routine, care of the skin in winter, is all too often a hit-and-miss method, sometimes skipped for days. This isn’t good for any skin type; for women or men with dry skin, it’s disastrous.
Dry skin is caused by an insufficient amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands. Another cause is dehydration – the cells hold less moisture. Although skin types are often hereditary, dry skin is affected by environment, age, and attention. Complete cure is usually impossible, but the secret to fighting dry skin is to moisturize, lubricate and humidify it, especially during winter.
If your skin is severely dry, it is best to start with a few professional facials. And almost every large cosmetic company has products especially formulated for dry skin. Many items are offered in travel sizes, always a good way to try any new product. There are special creams, lotions, hand and body creams, soaps, bath oils, moisturizers, masks, products for nails, etc.
The best way to make a selection is to go to a counter at a large department store. Discuss your problem with the person representing the line of your choice. These are almost always consultants trained by the company.
In order to care for your skin in winter, the important first step is to learn how to take a bath. This may sound odd, but those with dry skin must learn the correct way, as a bath softens the skin over the entire body.
Women should remove all makeup and cleanse the face. Both women and men should apply the cream of their choice to the face, which is often the driest area of the body. Use warm, never hot water. Water that is above 100 degrees F. is dehydrating and drying.
Add your favorite bath oil, and use a specially formulated soap. Don’t rub or pull the skin, but use a soft cloth to wash the face and body, using a circular motion. If skin is erupted, avoid any soap. Substitute a soapless cleanser, using a very soft body brush.
Don’t soak in the tub – 10 to 15 minutes is enough time for the water, steam, bath oil and cream to do their job. When drying the body and face, try a soft towel, using patting motions; avoid any vigorous rubbing. Always remember that dry skin is sensitive and must be treated gently, especially in winter.
Women, before going to bed, should use a lubricating cream. Massage it gently into the dry areas of the face, always away from the direction in which lines tend to form. The up-and-away movement is best. Start at the base of the throat, end at the temples. If skin is unusually dry, use a special cream for the throat and the eye area – both are prone to wrinkle early in life.
Around the eyes, work from the outer corners in toward the nose, patting gently. Cream should do its work in a short time; it is not necessary to leave heavy cream on overnight. A thin film of moisturizer is all that is needed. Once a week, a creamy, non-drying mask may be applied.
If the body skin is dry, use a body lotion, again working in upward and outward movements. Don’t forget the feet and legs – they’ve often been encased in boots all day. Massage the feet, heels, elbows and any areas of the body that look or feel rough and dry.
In the morning, use distilled water to refresh the skin, then apply a moisturizer and a thin film of eye cream. All makeup products used for dry skin care should have an oil base. Choose makeup in liquid or cream form. Avoid cake makeup or hair spray.
Often, dandruff falls on the forehead and aggravates a dry skin condition. If you re-apply makeup during the day, cleanse your skin first with cotton pads soaked in cool water, then use moisturizer. Always use a creamy lipstick and lip gloss to avoid chapped lips.
For men, the bath procedure is the same as for women. If you are a shower devotee, don’t make the water too hot, and try to get a super-fatted soap. End with a massage of after shower balm, or small pads to moisturize the skin.
Many dermatologists think that men cause dry skin by not removing every vestige of shaving cream. They suggest washing the face in the morning with a superfatted soap and water, then splashing cool water over the face to remove all the soap.
Smooth a small amount of facial cream on your wet face before adding the shaving foam. Wait just a few minutes to let the foam soften your beard. Shave, then once again, splash cool water over the entire face. While the face is still wet, apply an aftershave balm. This trick should allow the moisturize to soak right into the skin, avoiding any shiny look.
Everybody should use hand cream in order to care for skin in winter. Dry your hands thoroughly after each washing, then apply a thin film of cream. A good program of a well-balanced diet, exercise, enough rest and periods of relaxation are all helpful to the skin.