Winter can be so harsh on your skin. Between the dry air and wind outside and the arid heat indoors, otherwise healthy skin can dry out. When your skin gets too dry, you may experience:
- dry flaky patches on your face
- chapped lips
- itchy, irritated places on your body
- even painful, bloodied noses.
Even though our winter has been the warmest on record, the air is still dry and the central heat in our house have thoroughly dried out our skin. In fact, the final straw was when I applied some eye cream and my skin was so dry it began burning — as I flailed about in the bathroom, I sat on the closed commode — right on top of my glasses and flattened them. So dry skin can cause some serious expenses! Okay … so after that, I decided it was time to do some research on what ways we can improve the moisture of our air and our skin for my family – fast.
It seems taking care of your skin in winter requires a multi-pronged approach. Thankfully, these remedies aren’t expensive. Here are five cheap ways we can take better care of our skin in winter.
5 Cheap Ways to Care for Your Skin This Winter
1. Drink more water.
Water intake has been linked to better sleep, digestion and skin. In the winter it’s vital to drink enough water to keep your skin’s moisture barrier fed from the inside out. Julie Metos, Registered Dietitian at the University of Utah recommends six to eight glasses of water per day, adding “if you’re even just a little bit dehydrated, your mental health or the way that you function can be impaired.”
I was recently inspired by Crystal Paine’s post about drinking a gallon of water a day. I’m up to a half gallon a day (working my way up to a full gallon) and I’m already experiencing better sleep at night and digestion. Waiting on the skin benefits to kick in!
2. Break out the humidifier.
It’s not just for kids anymore. The dry heat from your furnace wreaks havoc on your skin. Crank up a cool mist humidor to replenish the air with moisture. It’ll help your skin and nose retain moisture. We use one in our kids’ room and we use a small portable, travel humidifier in our room like this (affiliate link) that works by inserting a water bottle into it. It works like a charm!
But a word of caution: make sure your humidifier stays clean. “Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria,” according to Mayo Clinic Staff. “If you use humidifiers, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean.”
3. Try dry brushing your skin.
This is a seemingly new fad, but there’s research to support it: “The mechanical action of dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry winter skin,” according to Jamie Starkey, Lead Acupuncturist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. “It also helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward.” This dry brush on Amazon runs under $3 (affiliate link).
4. Take shorter, cooler showers, then moisturize.
I’ll admit; nothing feels better than a long, super hot shower when it’s frigid outside. But those moments of hot bliss will dry out your skin big time. “The high water temperature and the evaporation of water off the skin, once out of the shower, causes the skin to become drier,” says Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor.
Cut down the amount of time in the shower, make it a few degrees cooler and lather up with moisturizer as you dry off to seal in the moisture. “Moisturizer can make a huge difference,” she explained. “I recommend creams over lotions because lotions contain a larger amount of water and don’t lock in moisture as well as creams and ointments.”
Try CeraVe Moisturizer (affiliate link) — when you add it as an Amazon subscription, you can save up to 15%.
5. Use a natural topical agent like coconut oil.
There are numerous reasons to be a raving fan of coconut oil: “strengthening underlying epidermal tissue, removing dead skin cells, protecting us from sunburns, and containing antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties,” according to Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS is a certified doctor of natural medicine. Or you can “Whip up a Homemade Avocado Face Mask with fresh avocado combined with essential oils, honey or a carrier oil to replenish hydration and leave skin feeling dewy.”
I use this highly rated Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil (affiliate link). I also use it on my 4-year-old about every three months to eliminate the dry, flakey patches she gets on her scalp.
What is your winter skin care routine? What are some surprising ways you fight back the seasonal dryness?