5 tricks that can help save your skin this winter

Whether you're skating, skiing or just out for a stroll, it's important to properly protect your skin from the elements.
Whether you're skating, skiing or just out for a stroll, it's important to properly protect your skin from the elements. Reynold Gregor/Global News

The frigid winter air always packs a punch — and our hands and faces are often hit the hardest.

Luckily, there are a few ways to fight the perpetual problems of the season like dry hands and chapped lips.

We spoke with a skin care expert and a dermatologist, who offered the following winter skincare advice.

1. Try to cut back on the hot showers

This one might be a tough one for some people.

“People love to take hot showers just to warm themselves up in the winter,” said Dr. Anatoli Freiman, a dermatologist and medical director of the Toronto Dermatology Centre.

But he said when the heat evaporates, the skin can really dry out. This can exacerbate eczema if you have it.

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Freiman recommended taking a quick, lukewarm shower instead.

2. Switch up your soap

“Don’t use bar soaps or bar cleansers. They can be very stripping and drying,” said Bryan Barron.

He recently co-authored the book The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here,” which busts all sorts of beauty myths.

“One of my favourite tips,” Barron said, “is if you suffer from dry hands during the cold winter months, switch the soaps — whether they’re liquid or bar soaps — with a moisturizing body wash … something very rich and creamy. And wash your hands with that.”

“That way, every time you wash your hands you’re not drying them out.”

3. Moisturize

And of course, “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize,” Freiman stressed.

He suggested using skin products with ceramide in the winter (like Cerave and Cetaphil), which he said can help replenish the skin barrier.

While coconut oil has become popular, dermatologists typically don’t recommend it because it could cause an allergic reaction.

READ MORE: Health Canada warns of potential for serious allergic reactions from face care product ingredients

Another common remedy is Vaseline. That may cause inflammation or acne breakouts on some people, according to Freiman. And it’s not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing, both he and Barron point out. It can, however, work for your lips and hands in a pinch.

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A Vaseline-based product with lanolin and some fort of plant oil or wax will also do the trick, Barron added.

His favourite face remedy, though, involves a little mixology.

“I like adding a drop or two of face oil to a regular moisturizer for those times when my skin feels more dry, or I know I’m going to be facing the elements more.”

4. Don’t forget the sunscreen

Barron always completes his skin routine with some sunscreen. Yes, even in the winter.

It becomes even more important if you’re going skiing.

READ MORE: 5 cold weather myths debunked

“If it’s a sunny day you’re getting a double whammy of UV damage. Because you’re getting it from above,” Barron explained, “and then you’re getting what radiation is hitting the snow and bouncing back.”

5. Use a humidifier

Both the skin care experts recommend this.

Put it in your bedroom and turn it on at night for a bit of a reprieve from winter’s dry snap.

WATCH: More winter skincare tips from the experts