Winter is rough on delicate, sensitive skin. Cold, windy weather and hot, dry indoor heat rob skin of precious moisture. Leaving skin dry, dehydrated, dull, and extra sensitive. These 6 Winter Skin Tips for Sensitive Skin will help keep your skin soft, calm, hydrated and radiant all winter long.
1. Use a Humidifier.
Use a humidifier in your bedroom and office. Heating systems, including space heaters and fires, pump hot, dry air into our homes and offices. Humidifiers add needed moisture into the air, which helps prevent dry, dehydrated and flaky skin.
2. Moisturize Often and Choose Skin Barrier Supporting Ingredients.
A solid, strong barrier function is the most important element in maintaining calm, hydrated, beautiful skin, especially in the cold, dry winter months. Moisturize several times a day and choose a rich moisturizer that includes several types of ingredients that replenish and enhance your skin's barrier function. Humectants like sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin attract water to the upper layers of skin, help maintain moisture levels and reduce dehydration. Ingredients like Shea butter, perilla oil, watermelon oil, argan oil, ceramides, and plant sterols, nourish, smooth and hydrate skin. They also provide an occlusive barrier that prevents moisture loss. After washing your face, showering or bathing apply a generous amount of moisturizer or skin oil to damp skin to lock in moisture.
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3. Exfoliate with Care
Winter skin can be dry, flaky and dull but exfoliate with care. Over exfoliation or exfoliating with aggressive exfoliates can weaken or remove the skins protective barrier function leading to dry, red, irritated skin. Your skin needs time between exfoliations to stabilize and replenish its barrier function.
Avoid using facial scrubs (physical/mechanical exfoliators). These products contain small particles like seeds, spices, ground shells, ground grains or jojoba beads. They can inflict micro tears and severely irritate sensitive skin. An extra soft skin brush applied with very light pressure or an exfoliate containing lactic acid are most appropriate for sensitive skin. Latic acid has been shown to increase skin hydration and ceramide production, making it especially beneficial for sensitive skin.
4. Pamper Dry Hands with Spa Gloves
The skin on your hands is thinner than other parts of your body, has fewer oil glands and is constantly exposed to the environment. In the winter months, your hands are more prone to dryness, dehydration, fine lines and irritation. At night, pamper your hands by applying a generous amount of a rich, occlusive moisturizer, then slip on a pair of cotton spa gloves. The gloves help the moisturizer absorb and stay on the skin.
5. Avoid Hot Showers and Baths
Hot showers and baths can dry out your skin, weaken or remove the barrier function and over stimulate your skin leading to redness and inflammation. Use lukewarm water when washing your face, showering or bathing. Take short showers once or twice a day. If bathing, add milk, colloidal oatmeal, or Dead Sea salt to soothe and hydrate skin. After showering or bathing apply a rich moisturizer, skin oil or balm to damp skin to lock in moisture.
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6. Eat Hydrating and Skin Supporting Foods
Eating high water content foods can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and coconut water all have high water content and are full of skin-supporting vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Omega 3|6 fatty acids play a crucial role in optimum skin functioning and appearance. They increase and maintain skin hydration by helping to prevent water loss on the skin surface. They support the production of collagen, increasing skin strength, elasticity, and firmness. They also reduce the redness, itching, and dryness associated with sensitive skin. Our bodies do not produce Omega 3|6 fatty acids so they must be obtained through diet, supplements or topical application.
Salmon, sardines, flax, chia, evening primrose, perilla and watermelon seeds or oils are all good sources of Omega 3|6 fatty acids.