35 Home Remedies For Winter Skin Care

The cold, dry air of winter can wreak havoc on your skin. Heating systems also strip moisture from the air, making indoor environments just as harsh. This leads to common issues like dryness, flaking, cracking, itching, redness, and irritation. While moisturizers and creams can help, there are also many natural home remedies that can protect and nourish your skin during the winter months.

1. Stay Hydrated

Be sure to drink plenty of water during winter. The humidity drops in winter, so your skin needs hydration from the inside out. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to improve skin elasticity and resilience. Herbal teas are another great way to add hydration.

2. Use Humidifiers

Humidifiers add moisture back into dry indoor air. This prevents moisture loss from the skin’s surface. Run humidifiers in your bedroom and any rooms where you spend a lot of time. Clean humidifiers regularly to prevent mold growth.

3. Take Shorter Showers 

Long hot showers feel great but can deplete natural oils from your skin. Stick to 5-10 minute lukewarm showers in winter. Limit baths to 15-20 minutes. Always use a heavy moisturizer immediately after bathing.

4. Choose Gentle Cleansers

Harsh soaps, cleansers, and scrubs strip away natural moisture during winter. Opt for gentle, creamy cleansers without sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances. Avoid scrubbing or exfoliating more than 2-3 times per week in winter.

5. Apply Oil or Petroleum Jelly

Layer an oil or petroleum jelly over your regular moisturizer to seal in moisture. Try natural oils like olive, almond, jojoba, or coconut. Dab extra on dry spots like hands, feet, elbows, and knees.

6. Use Thick Moisturizers

Light moisturizers aren’t enough for winter. Look for formulas that contain ceramides, fatty acids, shea butter, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid. Apply moisturizer within a few minutes of bathing and reapply as needed.

7. Wear Protective Gloves

When running errands in the cold or snow, be sure to wear waterproof gloves or mittens. Look for soft, breathable materials so hands don’t get sweaty. Having dry cracked hands exposes you to germs.

8. Choose Gentle Exfoliation

A gentle exfoliant once or twice a week removes dead skin so your moisturizer absorbs better. Use a soft washcloth, a konjac sponge, a soft brush, or a scrub with rounded exfoliants like jojoba beads. Avoid harsh scrubs in winter.  

9. Soothe With Aloe Vera

Pure aloe vera gel is a concentrated moisturizer and anti-inflammatory. Apply a thin layer to dry areas like hands, elbows, knees and feet. Or add a tablespoon to your moisturizer. Store aloe vera in the fridge to relieve irritation.

10. Try a Natural Oil Treatment

For an intensive hydration treatment, apply a facial oil before bedtime. Good options are rosehip seed oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or vitamin E oil. Allow it to absorb fully before applying night cream.

11. Get Some Steam

Steaming your face helps open pores and softens skin for deeper moisturizer absorption. Boil a pot of water, remove from heat and carefully drape a towel over your head. Steam for 5-10 minutes, then apply moisturizer.

12. Exfoliate Lips 

Use a dry toothbrush or lip scrub to remove flaky skin from lips. Apply a thick lip balm or petroleum jelly after exfoliating. Use lip balm after eating or drinking to prevent evaporation.

13. Eat Healthy Fats

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids help fortify skin cell membranes against winter weather. Eat more salmon, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, ground flax seeds and chia seeds.

14. Boost Collagen Intake

Vitamin C rich foods boost collagen production for youthful skin. Load up on citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, berries, papaya, kiwi, tomatoes, and pineapple.

15. Stay Active Indoors 

Regular exercise increases blood flow and nutrients to skin tissue. Stay active indoors when it’s too cold for outdoor activities. Even light yoga, stretching or using exercise videos helps.

16. Use Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are very drying. Counteract this by applying hand cream after each use, especially after washing hands. Moisturizing sanitizers contain glycerin and emollients. 

17. Avoid Harsh Deodorant Soaps

Deodorant soaps and antibacterial body washes often contain harsh detergents and fragrances. Use gentle glycerin soap and limit washing to twice a day during winter. Apply moisturizer after every wash.

18. Shop for Moisturizing Fabrics

Stay cozy and protect skin by wearing soft, smooth fabrics against your skin in winter. Choose silk, cotton, fleece and cashmere over wool, synthetics and scratchy fabrics.

19. Treat Cracked Feet

For severe dry, cracked feet, apply a heavy moisturizer at night. Cover with socks or sterile bandages. Use a foot file to gently remove dead skin, then apply moisturizer again. See a dermatologist for cracks that bleed or don’t heal.

20. Eat More Healthy Fats

Foods containing omega-3s and other healthy fats help nourish skin from the inside and improve resilience. Enjoy oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and other plant-based fats.

21. Drink Herbal Tea

Stay hydrated in winter with warming herbal teas. Great options include chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, licorice root, mint, rooibos, and dandelion tea. Avoid adding sugar and limit to 2-3 cups daily.

22. Use Thicker Night Creams

Look for a night cream that is richer than your daytime moisturizer. Apply it before bed so it can provide intensive overnight hydration. Ingredients like shea butter, oils and ceramides seal in moisture as you sleep.

23. Eat More Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants protect your skin from winter weather damage. Eat plenty of leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkins, and fruits rich in vitamin C.

24. Bundle Up Outdoors

Always cover exposed skin when going outside in winter. Wear things like scarves, hats, gloves, socks and closed-toe shoes. Seek shade or limit time outdoors during peak sun hours.

25. Avoid Very Hot Showers

Tempting as a steamy shower may be, water that’s too hot can damage skin. Stick to lukewarm showers in winter, closer to body temperature. Limit showers to 5-10 minutes. Pat skin partially dry and apply moisturizer immediately.  

26. Use Overnight Masks

For an extra moisture boost, apply an overnight mask before bed 1-2 times per week. Look for ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides and oils. Rinse off in the morning.

27. Soothe Hands with Petroleum Jelly

Apply petroleum jelly generously before bed and cover hands with cotton gloves or socks. The occlusion helps the moisturizing agents sink in deeply and repair cracked skin overnight.

28. Spot Treat With Healing Balms

For severely dry or cracked patches, dab on a healing ointment containing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, calendula, vitamins A, D and E. Apply a bandage if needed. See a dermatologist for cracks that worsen or don’t heal.

29. Moisturize Feet Thoroughly 

Don’t forget your feet when moisturizing. Apply cream or oil to damp feet and massage in well, especially on the heels and sides. Then put on socks to boost absorption overnight.

30. Take an Oral Supplement

Ask your doctor if you might benefit from a supplement for dry skin. Options include fish oil, flax seed oil, vitamin E, evening primrose and borage oil. Always check with your doctor before starting supplements.

31. Use Silk or Satin Sheets

Sleeping on silk or satin pillowcases prevents moisture loss overnight. The smoother fabric doesn’t tug on skin like cotton or flannel can. Having multiple sets makes it easier to wash them frequently.

32. Avoid Fragrant Skincare Products

Fragrances, whether natural or synthetic, can irritate sensitive winter skin. Stick to skincare labeled fragrance-free. Avoid scented lotions – the perfumes just mask dryness without hydrating skin.

33. Limit Time by Fireplaces 

Wood-burning fireplaces make the air even drier. Limit time spent right next to fires. Stay hydrated and use moisturizer when enjoying a cozy fire. Be sure to clean your chimney annually. 

34. Use Sun Protection Year Round

Don’t skip sunscreen in winter – UV rays penetrate all year. Choose a broad spectrum formula with at least SPF 30. Reapply every 2 hours if outdoors for extended periods.

35. Adjust Home Heating

Turn down thermostats slightly and run home humidifiers to keep moisture in the air. Gas heat tends to dry the air more than electric or radiant heating. Avoid positioning heat vents to blow directly on your skin. 

In summary, protecting your skin during the harsh winter weather requires diligence but is doable with natural home remedies. Be gentle, hydrate thoroughly from the inside and out, protect with proper clothing, and nourish with nutrient-rich foods. Listen to your skin’s needs and adjust your routine as the season progresses. With a little trial and error, you’ll find a simple regimen that keeps your skin smooth, healthy and moisturized all winter long.

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