Brrr, baby it’s cold outside.
When the weather turns blustery we hunker down under layers of coats, sweaters, hats and scarves. And many of us simply abandon our regular skincare routine.
After all, once it’s cold outside there’s no need to worry about your skin until the summer sun shows its face again, right?
Wrong. The truth is of the four seasons winter is actually the hardest on your skin. And ignoring your skincare during the cold months is practically a recipe for dried out alligator skin.
When temperatures take a nosedive, you spend most of your time indoors exposed to heated, dry air. And when you do venture outside you face frigid temperatures, biting wind and even more dehydrating dry air.
Both extremes take a real toll on your skin.
8 clever ways to avoid winter alligator skin
But you can hold on to your healthy skin, and avoid alligator skin all season long, by working a few easy winter skincare tips into your daily routine.
And when the temperatures start to rise again, and you finally peel off all your winter layers, you’ll reap the rewards with beautifully smooth and supple, summer-ready skin.
1. Change up your moisturizer:
During the summer, you likely use a light moisturizing lotion that doesn’t feel heavy on your skin when it’s hot and sticky outside. But a lightweight moisturizer just won’t cut it during the winter months. And if you continue to use one you’re liable to end up with dry and flaky alligator skin.
Break out the heavy artillery instead. Switch to a thicker, richer lotion to help seal in the moisture during the coldest and driest weather.
Look for something with natural oils, rather than water, as its base. Or skip store-bought brands altogether and switch to pure coconut or avocado oil. These natural oils will absorb completely and won’t clog pores. And as a bonus, they smell heavenly.
2. Remember to exfoliate:
Dead, dry skin cells can build up during the colder months, dulling your skin’s appearance and preventing even the best moisturizer from absorbing deep into its layers. But you can slough off dead skin cells, and rid yourself of alligator skin, simply by exfoliating several times a week.
Using a soft body brush or loofah in the shower is an easy way to exfoliate every day. You’ll brush away dead skin cells restoring your skin’s healthy glow.
For extra dry and rough spots, like elbows and knees, apply a homemade mixture of honey and sugar, an all-natural combination that rinses off easily. Honey is a humectant, which means it draws moisture. Meanwhile the sugar gently exfoliates. Follow up with a moisturizer after you dry off.
3. Skip the soak:
When it’s chilly outside, it’s tempting to crank up the hot water and luxuriate in a long, hot bath or shower. But as relaxing as a steamy soak or hot shower may sound, it’s best to avoid both if you really want to keep your skin healthy during the winter.
Hot water dehydrates skin. Aim instead for warm or tepid showers, and save the baths for the kiddos.
4. Invest in a good humidifier:
All winter long, you’re battling the effects of forced heat on your skin. But you can avoid dry, flaky and itchy alligator skin this season by moisturizing your air.
A good humidifier replaces the missing moisture in the air preventing your skin from becoming parched. Just be sure to change the water daily, and keep it clean.
5. Remember your sunscreen:
Spending a little time outdoors in the sunshine every day is a great way to boost your vitamin D levels and your mood. But remember if you’re going to be spending hours outside skiing, hiking or doing other winter activities you should apply a mineral sunscreen to any exposed parts of your body after 15 to 20 minutes.
The UV rays from winter sunshine can still do plenty of damage to your skin during the cold weather months. And snow reflects and magnifies the sun’s rays.
6. Don’t forget your gloves:
Keep a pair of warm gloves by the door, one in your coat pocket and another in the car. That way you’ll always be prepared to protect your hands from the harsh winter weather.
Guarding your hands against the drying effects of frigid weather will help prevent signs of aging and protect your skin, cuticles and nails from becoming chapped and flaky.
7. Wear socks and gloves to bed:
Once a week, slather your hands and feet with a thick layer of your favorite lotion or oil, slide on a pair of cotton gloves and socks, and hit the hay. Come morning, your digits will feel deliciously smooth and silky.
8. Choose cotton:
Winter is a great time to break out your warmest sheets, thickest blankets and favorite jammies. Just do yourself a favor and make sure they’re all made of 100 percent cotton. Polyesters and blends can irritate sensitive winter skin, even if you don’t have a problem in the warmer months.
When the weather gets frosty, your skin needs extra attention to help keep it looking and feeling healthy. Follow these eight easy winter skincare tips to avoid alligator skin and keep your skin glowing all winter long.