How to Protect Your Skin during Outdoor Winter Workouts

The chilly season is just around the corner, and for runners, cyclists, and athletes alike, this means ensuring additional protection when continuing favorite activities in sub-zero conditions. If you’re someone who likes to take their workout outside even when it’s bitterly cold, here’s what you can do to protect your skin.

Photo by Charlotte Karlsen on Unsplash

Always apply sunscreen when you go outside

Getting out in the sun is always a good thing – after all, it’s a powerful mood booster and it helps our skin replenish its sources of vitamin D. However, there’s one rule that applies to all seasons, regardless of the number on the thermometer – always wear sunscreen.

No matter the temperature, there’s a good chance that UV radiation is present. Therefore, slap on that sunscreen before you head for a jog – your skin will thank you.

Up your skincare game

Just like we swap out our clothes, our skincare routine needs to be changed up once winter rolls around. This is especially important if you intend to spend extensive periods of time outdoors.

Invest in a hydrating cleanser and moisturizer to protect your skin from drying out and itching. Be sure to cleanse your face after a workout, and make it a habit to put on a moisturizing mask at least once a week. Also, consider applying a face balm when it’s below-freezing – doing so will create an additional barrier and protect your skin from harsh weather.

For baby soft lips in winter, use a lip balm

Photo by Rebecca Wiggins on Unsplash

Your lips matter, too! During winter, many of us focus mainly on protecting our bodies and faces. However, few of us pay attention to our lips, only to regret it later when they realize how bad their lips sting when they’re eating.

Chances are, your lips are going to crack or chap when you’re exercising outdoors in winter, so make sure they are properly protected. Apply a thick coat of lip balm (look for ones with high SPF), and re-apply it after a while to ensure your lips stay moisturized during the freezing winter runs.

Show your underarms some TLC

Many of us tend to overlook this area of our bodies, but our underarms can also be affected by cold outside workouts. They’re quite sensitive, and can easily get irritated when you’re sweating underneath layers of clothing.

Pay attention to the fabrics of the clothes you’re wearing. Make sure they’re breathable and moisture-wicking – nylon, polyester, lycra, and bamboo clothes are more efficient than say, cotton garments that only trap the sweat against your skin. Also, be sure to apply a roll-on that will ensure your underarms are hydrated.

Remember to keep your body hydrated

Photo by Alexis G on Unsplash

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be hard to keep your hydration levels optimal, especially when it’s freezing outside. Optimal hydration increases our metabolism, keeps us full for longer while also boosting our immune system. 

Water bottles are great things to have when on the move, but you need to get a bottle that suits your activities best. Nowadays, you can easily buy water bottle online and get the one that works for you, whether you prefer long haul runs, bike rides, or treks.

Cover your face and hands when heading outside

While you might think it’s enough to simply slap on sunscreen and moisturizers to keep your skin protected, it pays to add another protective layer.

Your hands and face are the areas that are more exposed to cold and dry weather than other parts of your body, so you want to ensure they’re covered up. Grab a pair of gloves or mittens before you head for a jog, and use a beanie with a scarf to cover your face. Balaclava is a good alternative to a beanie, while a pair of sunglasses may come in handy as well.

Turn down the temperature when showering

Photo by Hannah Xu on Unsplash

When you go back home after a run, it might be tempting to just jump in the shower and turn on hot water. However, this can do more harm than good.

Showering with water that is too hot can be harsh on your skin, causing it to dry out as it gets stripped of its natural oils in the process. To prevent this from happening, be sure to close the shower doors as it will help trap the humidity inside. Once you’re done showering, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it. Finally, make sure to slap on moisturizer to lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated.

Consider using a humidifier at home

When cold weather strikes, it helps to have a humidifier in your home. Humidity levels dip once the temperatures plummet, and the lack of moisture often leads to dry, patchy skin.

Using a humidifier at home helps restore the levels of moisture, which can benefit anybody, but especially individuals who exercise outdoors during winter. A humidifier helps moisten the room, making it easier for our skin to seal the moisture in. What’s more, it’ll also level the playing field and make winter running more bearable.

When you’re a cold-climate runner, it’s important to take some precautions to prevent winter from wreaking havoc on your skin. By adopting these eight simple winter skincare habits, your skin will remain smooth, healthy, and supple even during the coldest of days.

About the author:

Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She writes as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.

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