Winterize your skin

Though we’ve finished packing away the bathing suits to make room for cozy sweaters and fuzzy socks, we can’t forget to update our beauty routines accordingly! Winter brings an entirely new set of skin circumstances in most regions of the country, turning even the best-behaved skin against us. Now’s the time to revise your skin care routine for maximum beauty potential until spring.

If your skin is on the oily side:
Even naturally moisturized skin can become parched and damaged in the harsh cold of winter. Adapt to the weather with the following tips:

Just like in the warmer months, washing your face too many times a day can cause irritation and can actually send oil glands into production overdrive. Instead, keep your cleansing routine to once or twice per day (always remove makeup before bed!) with a mild, alcohol-free cleanser.

Follow your cleansing routine with an unscented, oil-free, water-based lotion after cleansing. A good moisturizer will keep skin hydrated and create a barrier between your skin and the harsh winter winds. Gently massage lotion into your face and neck.

Refresh dull skin by applying a well-blended mixture (it should form a paste) of three tablespoons of plain yogurt with one-third of a peeled and finely diced cucumber to your face and allowing it to sit for ten minutes. Remove the mask with tepid water and follow with your moisturizer.

If your skin is on the dry side:
Winter is the natural enemy of dry skin. Stop the chill in its tracks with these steps to supple skin all winter long:

Rule number one—do not overwash! Wash your face at night before bed to remove makeup and oil, and let that be enough. Use a mild, creamy, hydrating cleanser, and tepid water to remove it. Avoid scrubbing—it can cause irritation fast!

Now is not the time for light-weight moisturizers. Look for something heavier than your summer formulation, probably with the word “cream” or “crème” on the label. Moisturize in the morning and after cleansing at night, and even during the day if skin feels tight or has been exposed to the elements for any extended period of time.

A moisturizing mask once a week can breathe new life into dull, parched skin. Try mixing half of a mashed avocado with a quarter cup of honey and wearing for ten minutes. Gently remove with tepid or cool water and moisturize as normal.

If your skin has both oily and dry areas at the same time:
The classic combination brings its own set of challenges, but with a few simple adjustments to your routine, you can glow until the last snow:

To combat acne in your t-zone and flakiness everywhere else, stick to a gentle cleanser designed for sensitive skin. Look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) to combat ruddiness. And always rinse with tepid water.

The woman with combo skin has the option of investing in both a thicker cream moisturizer for dry areas and an oil-free, water-based lotion for oily zones. But you can also stick with just the lighter lotion and use a petroleum-based ointment under lotion on dry areas only. Avoid 100% petroleum, though, as it can be too heavy and can create breakouts even in dry zones.

To fight irritation, create a mask of one cup of natural yogurt and half a cup of oatmeal. Apply to the skin and leave on for about fifteen minutes before rinsing with tepid water.

Tips for all skin types:

Don’t abandon sun protection in the winter! Just because you’re not tanning doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t wreaking havoc on unprotected skin!

Running the heat in the house can be very drying to the skin. Consider using a humidifier at night.

Exfoliate! Oily skin can be exfoliated with a gentle, mild exfoliator two to three times per week, while dry skin should be sloughed no more than once per week. The same goes for combo skin; just do the dry and oily parts separately. Massage, don’t scrub!

Follow these steps, and taking care of your skin during the winter will be a snap. Does your skin change during the winter?

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