It’s Cold Out There: Beware Of These Bad Skin Habits

Aly Walansky

Woman in the winter

Guys, it’s cold out. Colder than we’ve seen it in a very long time (we’re proudly breaking records) and while you are breaking out your ear muffs and fur-lined gloves, make sure you’re totally covered – inside and out – for the deep chill. The cold weather is not only uncomfortable, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin (oh, yay!) so here are some expert tips to get you through this dip in temps and keep you looking your best, always.

MORE: 10 Tips For Recovering Your Skin From Last Night

Stay Hydrated:

New York City dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe says blasting the heat and downing caffeine are two of the most common wintertime mistakes for the skin. “When skin loses its hydration, the nerves feeding the skin get irritated and produce the sensation of itch. Most of my patients think it’s the cold weather outdoors that dries out their skin, but the real threat is the dry heat coming out of the radiator in their bedroom as they sleep,” she says. So, keep hydrated. Although a hot cup of coffee beckons, ask for a half-caff every now and then to minimize the diuretic effect of the caffeine.

MORE: Cold Weather Skin Tips For Sundance Or Just Seriously Freezing Temps

Invest in a Humidifier:

Get a cool-mist humidifier, says Dr. Bowe.  Warm-mist humidifiers are more costly and also pose a burn risk to children and pets.  Just be sure to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold by cleaning it or replacing the filter regularly.

Never Skip the Moisturizer – Everywhere:

Within minutes of stepping out of your shower, coat your skin in a moisturizer.  “It’s important not to wait too long after stepping out of the shower to apply the moisturizer, because all the moisture from the shower will evaporate and leave your skin even more dry and itchy if you don’t seal that moisture in quickly,” says Bowe. And that counts for every inch of your body, especially exposed areas like your hands. Moisturizer isn’t just to make your hands smell nice. It’s the best way to stop your cuticles cracking and your hands shriveling up during the cold, dry weather.

Image via Tetra Images

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