Yes, it’s already March, I am aware of that, but I recall a post I created that encompassed the importance of maintaining healthy skin in the summer. Now, given that the colder weather can also be kind of a b*tch, many of our complexions can truly suffer during those days as well. Seriously, I became so overwhelmed with taking care of my skin that I considered preventative surgery, let’s be real. However, I’m saving that topic for another post in the future!
Below are some of the most impactful tips I’ve gained while caring for my skin during the winter, which tends to be the most brutal on my largest physical organ every year. For some reason, my skin tends to suffer the most in the winter–no fail, the air strips it from all its moisture and my complexion dulls out severely. Personally, my skin needs extra love from the inside out. Feel free to use some of these pointers for your skin if yours tends to experience the same difficulties!
- Drink as much warm water as necessary. Eons ago, I was a definite water fanatic and drank an entire 42-ounce Hydroflask’s worth of water every hour. This isn’t to say that you should do the same, but hydration is critical for youthful, nourished, and glowing skin. Dehydration is known to delay toxin removal, which can lead to serious skin disorders such as eczema, discoloration, psoriasis, excessive dryness, and so much more. For the freezing cold weather, I actually recommend heating your water before drinking it, even adding slices of lemon or seeping a tea bag into the hot water for some hot tea! The warmer the water, the easier it is on your system and the more satisfied you will feel.
- Sleep is (nearly) everything. If there is anything that is worse than the worst of the worst, it’s regularly pulling all-nighters. During Dead Week, I barely got any sleep at all, which not only derailed my cognitive performance (coherence, academic, mood, functional, etc.), but I noticed that the directly under my eyes seemed a lot more hollow than usual. Eh, could have been dark circles as well, but still, sleep deprivation is crazily aging long-term.
- Consume vitamin D fortified foods or take a supplement. Here’s the deal about vitamin D: yes, you can get enough vitamin D from the sun. However, there are two caveats: the sun is extremely damaging for your skin if you don’t use sun protection, plus where the heck is it during the winter (unless you live in Southern California or anywhere else that pretty much receives the sun year-round)? Anyways, vitamin D is often spotlighted as a bone health nutrient, but research actually proves that it aids in skin metabolism and preventing dullness. To boost your vitamin D intake, take a vitamin D supplement or fortified milks, cereals, shiitake mushrooms (my personal favorite!), and fortified tofu.
- Moisturize every single day. Dry skin, oily skin, a mix, sensitive skin, they all need some love. Even if you don’t plan on showering that day, take some time to wash your face, clear your pores, and shave off the dead skin cells to open everything up. Depending on your skin type, it is critical to find a suitable cleanser and lotion for your face, as oily skin types should use clay or aloe vera rather than oil-based products while those with dry skin are better off with oil and water.
- Indulge in a face mask! I always thought face masks were far too high maintenance and couldn’t care less about spending the money and wasting time to cover my face in some sludge to leave for fifteen minutes, only to wet my entire sink with by washing it off. Boy, was I in the wrong. WAY in the wrong. They are absolutely fabulous and your skin feels incredibly refreshed both during and after letting the mask stay on your face. Depending on which mask you use, you can increase vitality, prevent aging, provide vitamins and minerals, and detoxify your skin.
- Stay clean and sanitary. Winter is also the season of sickness and spring is the blossoming of allergies (along with flowers). I recently got over a pretty horrific cold and now I have never felt more inclined to wash my hands every hour. Keep hand sanitizer with you, wash your hands every time you use the restroom, and maintain proper hygiene. Nothing wrong with being extra clean!
- Wear sunscreen. Yes, still wear sunscreen. The sun may not be visible in the winter, but that doesn’t mean certain ultraviolet rays are not there, specifically the UVA rays that are responsible for wrinkles and aging rather than the burning UVB rays. Both encourage skin cancer and the risks elevate when the UVAs are reflected from ice and snow. So regardless of the weather forecast, do not leave the house without sunscreen. Be sure to use a vegan sunscreen with a UVA-blocking ingredient and an SPF of at least 15.
- Maintain your stress. Final exams, preparing for spring cleaning, basically all the distressful tasks seem to pile up around the end of the year where days are colder and evenings are longer. Why is that–do our bosses and professors assume that we’ll be indoors more often and thus have more time for working? Well, they’re wrong. But anyhow, whether plowing through the work without distractions or cutting back on the necessary tasks will minimize your worries, that’s all it takes. Stress is seriously a killer for your insides and outside. Take care of yourself!
How do you keep your skin healthy in the winter?