One of my favorite winter activities is enjoying the untouched beauty of the first fallen snow…from within a warm house while wearing fuzzy slippers and sipping hot cocoa.
Winter is not my friend. If she weren’t so cold or last so dang long, maybe I’d reconsider, but seeing as how she sticks around for what feels like half the year, winter can suck it. Not only do her below freezing wind chills force us indoors, but the residual mess of snow plows and road treatments turn once pristine white into dingy gray heaps of gross. And let’s not forget the constant threat of The Closing; parents across the nation quake in their water-proof boots at the annual threat of School Closings.
If that weren’t bad enough, winter destroys my skin. In fact, she destroys mine, my husband’s, and all three of my kids’ skin in very different ways. I get the scaly, itchy, super attractive skin; my husband’s hands will crack and bleed. Our 6-year-old son has extremely chapped lips, the 4-year-old gal suffers from a dry nose that she can’t seem to keep her fingers out of, and the baby’s back looks like a road map o’ eczema. We all require different things when treating our issues, so no, winter and I do not get along.
But I’m not giving up. Oh no. I will persevere and win this winter skin battle. Even if I have to move down south where “winter” is a pleasant 65 degrees. DON’T TEST ME.
Until then, this is my plan:
- Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock. On all exposed skin, especially lips, we shall bathe in the sunblock.
- Moisturize. Lotions, exfoliators, and oils can all help battle winter’s heavy hand. My personal favorite is coconut oil; it’s light and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
- Cover up. I don’t care to be out in the elements, so I’ll cover up with a blanket on my couch thankyouverymuch. But for all of you crazies who enjoy the freezing outdoors, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. help protect your skin. Keep covered and keep DRY! If you’re wet from a losing snowball fight, sorry ’bout your luck. Also, go change your clothes unless you want dry, itchy skin. Or worse: frostbite.
- Perfect timing. Don’t take super long showers (yes, I’m talking to myself) with super hot water (still talking to myself); even though it feels heavenly, it’s actually bad for your skin. The best time to apply moisturizer is directly after your bath or shower because your skin absorbs it better. It’s science.
- Water. Drink it, put it back into the air by way of a humidifier to avoid those chapped, bloody noses, and thoroughly DRY it off of your hands each time you wash. Don’t do the quick pant leg swipe then come crying to me that your hands are chapped. Again, talking to myself.
If winter skin is so severely chapped and afflicted that you have no choice but to grab an over-the-counter med to treat it, be sure to read the label and apply accordingly. Little ones can’t always use the same lotions as Mom and Dad, so be careful with what you put on their sensitive skin. For more information about treating dry winter skin, check out this article or talk to your doctor. Or move to a warmer climate with me. I call shotgun!
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