When you think about skin care, you probably focus mostly on your face. After all, especially during the cooler weather months, your face is what the world sees the most of! Your routine for body skin care needs some TLC, too, however. This time of year, it is essential to take its toll when artificial heat, cold weather, and drier air. Here are some body skin care tips to follow this winter and throughout the year so you can enjoy soft, supple skin no matter what the weather is like.
What Happens When Body Skin Care Goes Neglected?
When body skin care goes is neglected, skin tends to look dull and feel itchy and rough. During the warmer months, you tend to sweat more and produce more body oils to lessen this effect. Once the temperature begins to dip in the fall, however, your neglected body skin will start to show its unhappiness.
You might feel like your skin is tight and uncomfortable, or prone to rashes and general itchiness, and your arms, legs, and back might look dull and flaky. Even though you are covering up due to the cold weather, you still want to be comfortable in your skin. Thus, it makes sense to do what you can and use the body care products necessary to keep your skin in tip-top condition.
Start With a Dry Body Brush
If you are not happy with the way your skin feels, you can jump-start a body skin care routine by using a dry body brush each day before your shower for a week. Lightly brush your body all over, focusing on areas with dry skin, such as your feet, legs, arms, shoulders, and back. This will increase circulation and make it easier to exfoliate once you are in the water. Do this daily for only seven days, then switch to using it only once or twice per week after that.
Avoid Taking Scalding Hot Showers
While it can feel great to have hot water raining down on you on a cold day, your skin should use just comfortably warm water in the shower. Hot water tends to strip oils from the skin. If you are used to using boiling water, try bumping it down just a few degrees at a time over several days until you can be comfortable in less-hot water.
While you are in the shower, lather up with a moisturizing cleanser, a body puff is okay to use, but keep in mind that it will accumulate bacteria over a relatively short period, so you will want to rinse it well between uses and toss it after a few weeks. A washcloth is a more hygienic option; use a fresh one for each shower.
Choose something soft to avoid irritating sensitive skin. You can also use an exfoliating rub once per week or so to help take off dead skin cells that might have been accumulating, especially on places like the sides of your neck, your upper arms, your back, your elbows, your knees, and your feet.
Use a Nutrient-Rich Body Cream
A light body lotion is often all you need to keep your skin hydrated during the summer months when you are sweating and applying sunscreen to exposed skin. During the winter, however, you will need something more heavy-duty. Look for rich body creams that contain cocoa butter, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
These will all work together to keep your skin moisturized and turning over cells as needed to prevent dryness and flaking. An anti-aging body cream is also a good idea, no matter how old you are. These contain ingredients that keep your cells turning over more rapidly. A cream with azelaic acid will help with the signs of aging while also helping to reduce inflammation, so it is suitable for people who have sensitive skin.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
You do not need to apply sunscreen all over your body the way you do in the summer, but be sure to use it to your face, ears, neck, hands, wrists, and any other areas that will be exposed. You can undoubtedly get a sunburn in the winter, mainly if the sun reflects off the snow. Even on cloudy days without snow on the ground puts you at risk. Be safe and consider choosing an SPF 30+ sunscreen to slater on every day you plan to leave your house.
Protect Skin From Elements of Seasonal Weather Changes
You might already wear a scarf and hat to keep your sensitive facial skin from being hammered by the wind, sleet, and other wintery elements, but do not neglect the rest of your body. Gloves will protect your hands and wrists but remember that the wind can get under your coat sleeves.
Layer your clothing, so you are not getting windburn underneath. You might also want to carry a good moisturizer with you so you can reapply it throughout the day as needed and necessary if you notice that your hands or neck begin to feel dry after spending some time outdoors.
Hydrate From the Inside Out
While you will often feel thirsty after exercising or spending time outdoors in the hot weather, indoor heating and wind will also dehydrate you, even on the coldest days. Drinking plenty of water will keep your body in good shape, and it will also help prevent dryness on your body skin.
If a glass of ice water seems unappealing on a chilly day, have some herbal tea, decaf coffee, or occasional fruit juice. You can also drink your water lukewarm or even hot; add a slice of lemon or ginger to make it even more comforting. Aim for eight glasses per day, but you might need more than that if you are in a dry office building.
Also, if you can run a humidifier, this will help. Just be sure to clean it regularly to prevent mildew and bacteria build-up. Keeping your skin in excellent condition will require a bit more attention in the winter, but you can enjoy the benefits of softer, more comfortable skin all year long, so we think it is worth it!