3 Terrible Things Winter Is Doing to Your Skin
Solution: Take only short, warm showers or baths of ten minutes or less; cleanse with a hydrating body wash; then moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, says Jackson. To avoid looking ashy, women of color should try layering: Start with an oil to form a hydrating film on the skin, and top that with a thick lotion or cream to penetrate. Jackson likes coconut oil, but you can also use lotions with argan or almond oil, petrolatum, glycerin, hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Finally, it helps to drink enough water that your urine is a light yellow and to humidify your home, she says.
Solution: A moisturizer containing alpha hydroxy acids or an antioxidant-rich lotion helps refresh skin by encouraging cell turnover, so look for glycolic or lactic acid, retinol and vitamins C and E—both antioxidants—on the ingredients list. Gentle exfoliation with a soft washcloth or a salt or sugar scrub can also brighten skin's appearance. Choose a moisturizer with light-reflecting pigments, says Jackson—you'll get an immediate glow.
Solution: Your first line of defense is a super-hydrator, like an ointment containing petrolatum, says Graber. To smooth the skin, try a gentle exfoliant containing urea and glycolic or lactic acid, which can help break the bonds between dead skin cells so they slough off, says Weiser. Rough skin in women of color can lead to hyperpigmentation, which may be hard to eliminate. So in addition to moisturizing at the first sign of roughness, avoid scrubbing the area—scrubbing may Cause microtears, worsening hyperpigmentation, says Jeanine B. Downie, MD, director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey. If a rough patch doesn't improve with home treatment, if it's itchy, or if you see silvery white scales, it's time for a doctor visit, says Weiser.