Most people know to be careful about skin care in the summer. But did you know the winter poses special challenges as well ? Take a look at these facts and recommendations to winterize your skin care.
- Despite snow, humidity in the winter air is often quite low, drying out the skin.
- Glare from white snow on an overcast day can produce UV damage comparable to bright sunshine.
- Indoor heat from any source is drying to the skin.
- Winter wind is especially drying.
- Skin can get so dry that is peels and cracks, making it vulnerable to becoming inflamed or even infected.
- Cleanse more gently in the winter. Do not use a lathering wash. Get rid of harsh astringents. Exfoliate less frequently and more gently. Do not use hot water, only warm, and limit the time of baths and showers which can strip skin of natural oils.
- Apply a more substantial skin protection and moisturizer in the winter. Chose an oil based, rather than a water based moisturizer since they are more protective. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, lotions and creams containing olive, shea and jojoba are helpful. Lanolin and glycerin are also helpful. My favorite is a mix of cocoa butter and coconut oil.
- Wear sunscreen as a matter of policy. Use actual clothing or fabric to protect the skin in the winter outdoors.
- Change out of wet socks and shoes promptly as they can be very irritating to skin.
- Wear a nonirritating layer between skin and wool.
- Control your indoor environment. Avoid baking yourself by the fire (guilty!). Consider a humidifier (but don’t let moisture build up on your windowsills).
- Stay hydrated. Ensure your diet has enough healthy fat in it, i.e. olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc.
- Consider skipping shampoo unless your hair is dirty or oily. Do use conditioner.
- Chose a lasting lip balm for lips.
- Don’t forget to get some eye drops for dry eyes.