If I couldn’t play tennis at least 3 times a week (weather permitting), I’d go stir crazy! And fortunately for me, Texas has a relatively short and mild winter season, which means I can play without sleeves 90% of the time.
But while Houstonians don’t have to contend with snow and ice, we do have freezing winter winds, which really dry out my skin. And thankfully, a dermatologist friend of mine recommended the following tips in order for me to keep my skin healthy before, during and after my time on the courts – and they really work!
Drink It In
Even though it isn’t hot and you aren’t sweating, your skin still feels the drying effect of winter weather. Drink plenty of water, especially when playing tennis or doing any other activities, to help keep your skin hydrated from the inside-out.
Keep Your Cool
Hot showers may feel fantastic, but they rob your skin of moisture-retaining lipids. Use lukewarm water instead, and get in and out quickly. Also, go for a liquid body wash like Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender body Wash, which is less drying than bar soap, and apply moisturizer immediately after you get out of the tub/shower, while your skin is still a little damp. My favorite is Tree Hut Shea Body Butter with Almond Extract and Honey.
Be Sun Smart
Even when it’s not beach weather, your skin still needs protection from the sun’s rays. For exposed areas like the face and hands, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Depending on your needs, you can either choose a face cream with sunscreen included or apply a heavier moisturizer over a layer of sunblock. I use Kiss My Face For Face & Neck SPF 30.
The cold wind, combined with a lack of moisture in the air can cause lips to become dry and cracked, ouch! So before heading to the courts, apply a lip balm that contains a minimum SPF 15 sunscreen, then throw it in your tennis bag or purse so you can re-apply it later. A great brand to try is Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer, SPF 15.
Get Rich Quick
Many women use an extra rich body lotion to combat dry winter skin. Look for moisture-rich ingredients like lactic acid, urea, glycerin, petrolatum and hyaluronic acid. If an extra-strength lotion feels too heavy for you, go with a milder formulation, and moisturize morning and night for maximum effect. The same goes for your face, choose a heavier moisturizer during the day, and a night cream for bedtime.
Don’t Be Flakey
Dry scalp and dandruff are two different scalp conditions, but both get worse in winter. Keep your scalp flake-free by using a medicated shampoo and conditioner (for dandruff) like Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, or a regular scalp moisturizing treatment (for dry scalp), such as Clear Scalp & Hair Moisturizing Shampoo. Snow should be outside, not on your shoulders :-)
Keep The Air Moist
In winter, houses stay closed up with the heat on, which dries out the air – and your skin! To counteract the dryness, use a cool mist humidifier in both your living room and bedroom.