Every winter I forget how uncomfortable my stretched ears can be when the temperatures drop! They get sore, tight, and itchy. And they get cold so easily.
I started stretching my ears when I was 16, which was 18 years ago. That’s more than half of my life! I stretched my ears to 1″ about 12 years ago, and I’ve been at that size ever since. Ten years ago I got my conches punched at 8mm/0g, and that’s the size of jewelry that I wear currently. I am originally from the midwest and live on the east coast now, so I am no stranger to taking care of stretched ears in the winter.
I’ve put together a list of things that you can do to make your stretched ears more comfortable in cold weather, based on my experience.
Here are my 7 winter survival tips for taking care of your stretched ears:
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- Wear Solid Stone Plugs
Wear stone jewelry instead of wood, metal, or glass. Wood is porous so it’s less thermally conductive than metal, glass, or stone, but it can crack or warp when there’s a big change in temperature. Stone warms up when it’s in your ears, and it holds heat well. Solid plugs retain warmth better than eyelets.
2. Warm Your Jewelry Before Insertion
I think we can all agree that warm jewelry is more comfortable on your ears than cold! Do your ears a favor and warm up your jewelry before you put them in for the day. You can do this by putting them in your pants or sweatshirt pocket. I put mine in my bra, which I find to be most effective. In a pinch you can blast them with the hair dryer on low. Be careful; if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your jewelry and delicate ear skin.
3. Moisturize with Oil
Your skin needs to be moisturized in winter. This includes the skin on your ears! Any time I do my skincare routine on my face, I moisturize my ears with jojoba oil. I like Desert Essence jojoba oil, which I buy on Amazon.
4. Massage Them
Using jojoba oil or another unscented, body-safe oil, massage both lobes for at least 5 minutes. Massage stimulates blood flow, which will make your lobes feel a lot more comfortable in the winter. It can also help thicken your lobes. This can be part of your moisturizing routine.
5. Wear Jewelry Often
If I forget to put in my jewelry, even for one day, my piercings shrink just enough to make getting them back in uncomfortable. I’ve made it part of my routine to put in jewelry every morning as soon as I wake up. I use a little jojoba oil to make insertion a little easier. (Sponsor me, Desert Essence.)
6. Take Hot Showers Before Putting in Jewelry
Warm tissue is more pliable than cold tissue, so jewelry insertion is going to be easier with warm ears. You can even put in your jewelry while you’re in the shower, being careful not to drop (and potentially break) it.
7. Cover Them When You’re Outside
I tend to wear my hair over my ears in the winter because it keeps them warm. A hat helps retain heat as well. If you don’t have long hair, you can use a big, fluffy scarf. Or, wear plug mittens, like these from Etsy seller The Last Yarnicorn.
How do you keep your stretched ears warm and healthy in the winter? Tell me about it in the comments!