The brutal winter cold can wreak havoc on your skin. When winter comes along skin can get very dry, very quickly. Many people assume it’s the heat and the sun that dries out the skin during the summer. Winter isn’t the time to rest easy as it’s just as brutal. Cold weather, especially where there is a wind involved, can leave your skin dried out and red.
Why Good Skin Care is Important
Everyone needs to take good care of their skin. It isn’t only about looking young and healthy…cracked and damaged skin can be problematic when you are in a survival situation.
- Your skin is your biggest organ and it protects your internal organs.
- Poor skin care can cause sores, blisters, and other uncomfortable conditions that can lead to bleeding and infection.
- Dry skin is a result of not being properly hydrated. Dry skin can lead to chafing and cause sores that can result in infection.
The following tips will help you take care of your skin during the harsh winter months.
- Drink plenty of water. Your skin has to be hydrated in order to maintain it’s elasticity. If you balk at the idea of drinking something cold, drink warm water with a little honey or lemon. Caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea aren’t the same as water.
- Wash your face with lukewarm or cold water. Hot water will strip away the oils in your skin that help it remain soft and pliable. This applies to your hands as well.
- Protect your skin with sunscreen, even in the winter! Your nose is out there and is still being exposed to the sun. Don’t forget your cheeks, ears, and your neck.
- Cover up your skin as much as you can. Wear gloves and a scarf or facemask if you’ll be in the harsh winter cold. Moisturizing with a good oil-based lotion before you go out will also give your skin an additional layer of protection.
- Do what you can to eat foods that are high in water content. It may not always be easy to get your hands on watermelon, but try eating more raw carrots, apples, cucumbers, and zucchini.
- Avoid using cleansers that will strip the oils from your skin. Wear protective gloves when doing household chores. Moisturize as soon as you’re finished to replace the lost moisture.
- Use a squirt of hand sanitizer instead of fully washing your hands when possible. This helps kill germs and bacteria without getting your hands wet. Plus then you have to dry them which leads to chafing.
- Take shorter showers, especially if you like hot showers. You’re only drying out your skin when you stand under a stream of hot water. Turn down the water temperature. If you must, start with it hot and then bring the temperature down.
- Don’t wear wet anything! Wet clothing, especially socks, can cause serious chafing. Remove wet clothing as soon as possible. Pack along a change of clothes if you’re going to be in the snow. Always carry extra socks so your feet never have to remain wet for long.
Don’t Forget Your Lips!
Your lips will also suffer from the cold. Don’t forget to wear plenty of lip balm! Skip the balms that contain mint or camphor as these will only dry your lips more. Avoid licking your lips as well.
Moisture is a bad thing and only leads to more chapping. Don’t rub your lips when they feel dry and flaky. Put on another layer of ointment based chapstick instead. Apply chapstick or lip balm before going to bed at night to keep your lips hydrated. Especially if you tend to breathe through your mouth.