Winter is here and Jack Frost is not just nipping at your nose. The cold, dry air of winter can inflict some serious damage to facial skin. Fortunately, there are a few winter facial skin care tips that you can utilize. By following a facial skin care routine that meets your exact skin care needs you can be on your way to a healthier, more radiant skin tone – even in winter.
Winter Facial Skin Care Tips
Facial skin care for dry skin:
Although regular bath soaps clean well, they are highly alkaline and can be very irritating to both dry and sensitive skin. Even clear soaps may be too drying if they contain glycerin and alcohol. As an alternative to soap, many dermatologists suggest using a soap-free, sensitive skin cleanser (Try: Bioelements Sensitive Skin Cleanser). If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you may need to alternate a washable lotion with a sensitive-skin bar. After cleansing dry skin, apply an all-purpose moisturizer that is light, hypoallergenic, preservative-free, and water based (Try: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Legere Facial Moisturizer). For extremely dry skin, you can moisturize with petroleum jelly or an oil-based lotion with 20 percent urea. After cleansing sensitive skin, apply a light, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer, like Eucerin. To check your tolerance of the product, dab the moisturizer behind your ears for the first few days.
Your skin is dry or sensitive if it:
- Feels itchy, dry, rough and flaky
- Is easily irritated
- Stings or burns when skin-care products are used
- Sometimes appears red and inflamed
Facial skin care for normal skin:
If you have normal skin, you are one of the lucky few whose face can take some abuse and still bounce back looking fresh and rejuvenated. Almost any cleanser from regular bath soap to sensitive-skin bars will work for you. If you choose to use a moisturizer, select a light, all-purpose, hypoallergenic, preservative free, water-based moisturizer and apply it after washing (La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Legere Facial Moisturizer).
Your skin is normal if it:
- Appears neither dry nor oily
- Is usually smooth and supple
- Is generally clear/blemish-free
Facial skin care for oily skin:
Using regular bath soap (morning and night) is fine for cleansing - your skin can actually benefit from the drying effects of a strong alkaline soap. To combat that afternoon shine, use an astringent pad at midday. Because your skin is naturally oily, you may not need to use a moisturizer. But if you do, choose one that is noncomedogenic (won't clog pores) and either oil-free or water-based like Neutrogena or Aveeno, for example.
Your skin is oily if it:
- Appears shiny and feels greasy
- Has enlarged pores or blackheads
Facial skin care for combination skin:
For people with combination skin, dermatologists recommend one of two cleansing routines. First, you can wash with a gentle facial cleanser in the morning and then use an alcohol-free astringent on oily areas later in the day. Or you can wash with a soap-free cleanser on dry areas and with regular bath soap on oily areas. After finishing whichever cleansing routine you choose, apply a water-based or oil-free noncomedogenic moisturizer (Neutrogena or Aveeno) to your entire face.
Your skin is combination if it:
- Is oily on your forehead, nose or chin (the T-zone)
- Is dry on your cheeks and around your eyes
Skin care tips for every type of skin:
Wash your face no more than twice a day. No matter how dry, sensitive or oily your skin, always clean gently. Use warm (not hot) water, your fingertips (not a wash cloth) and rinse well. Then use a towel to pat (not rub) your face dry. After patting your skin dry, apply a moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp to help it absorb. Unless your moisturizer provides protection from damaging sun rays, consider applying a light, noncomedogenic sunscreen as well.
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