The winter months can be tough on skin. While most people think summer sun exposure is the hardest on the skin, winter can be just as difficult for our skin cells. In cold, dry winter climates, skin is prone to itching and flaking. Without an effective winter skin care routine, you may experience significant discomfort and potential damage throughout the winter season.
Changes in temperature and humidity can negatively impact your skin’s health. The main cause for concern during winter months is dryness. Cold weather usually means decreased humidity. Windy winter weather and use of heaters will further strip the skin of moisture. Dry skin can feel scaly, chapped or tight, and it may even crack open and bleed. Those who suffer from chronic skin conditions like eczema are much more likely to deal with flare-ups during winter months. The main goal of skin care during winter months is to avoid stripping moisture from the skin and take steps to alleviate dryness.
Winter Skincare Tips:
Turn Down the Heat – It’s not just air temperature that effects your skin…water temperature is very important. Turn down the heat in the shower or bath, as hot water can worsen dry skin; and limit your bath and shower time, because prolonged exposure will also dry out your skin. Apply a moisturizer immediately following your shower or bath.
Major Moisturizer - Use a thick, cream-based moisturizer at least twice per day over the entire body. You should apply a moisturizer immediately following your shower or bath and at least one other time during the day. If you start to experience itching or notice cracking and dryness, apply moisturizer to the affected area right away.
Use a Humidifier - Constantly running heaters during the cold, winter months can strip moisture from the skin. Consider installing a furnace humidifier or putting a humidifier in your bedroom. These humidifiers can replace some of the moisture that the heater is stripping from your home.
Cover Up - Exposure to wind, snow, and ice can also negatively impact your skin. Protect your skin by covering it with accessories like gloves, hats and scarves. For sports like skiing and snowboarding, make sure you wear goggles and other barrier clothing to protect your skin from chapping and windburn. If your clothing becomes saturated with water from melting snow or ice, you should find warm, dry clothing as soon as possible.
Drink Water - Dehydration is not a summer-only concern. Drinking water won’t immediately add moisture to the skin, but regularly consuming plenty of water will help to keep skin cells hydrated. Drink at least 64 fluid ounces of water each day, which is about 8 glasses.
Sunscreen All Day, Every Day - Skin that is exposed to the sun, even in limited amounts, should be protected with sunscreen on a daily basis. There are many sunscreens that can serve as an effective daily moisturizer and sunscreen (get EltaMD UV Lotion at Warrenton Dermatology). Look for SPF 30 or higher.
Protect Your Lips - Our lips are just as likely to become dry, chapped and sun exposed as the rest of the body. Apply a liberal coat of balm with sunscreen built in several times throughout the day. Aloe Vera and Vitamin E are often used to heal damaged skin and relieve dryness, as well.
Visit A Skincare Specialist at Warrenton Dermatology – our skincare professionals are here to help you! Schedule a medical visit for treatment of skin issues that flare in the winter, or schedule a complimentary skin care consultation appointment for help in finding the right products and winter skincare routine just for you. 540-341-1900