Winter skin alert – cold temperatures can put your skin into chaos. We asked for skin tips from Heidi Nicol, an esthetician with Renown Dermatology, Laser & Skin Care. She shares how to keep your skin glowing through the frosty months ahead.
With the change from warm to cold weather, your skin can get stressed out. In fact, issues like flaky skin, irritation and chapped lips can be an everyday struggle.
5 Easy Winter Skincare Tips
1. Re-think your shower
Few things feel better on a cold day than a long, hot shower. But hot showers can lead to dry skin because they strip your skin of its natural protective oils. Avoiding them altogether is best – choose a lukewarm, or warm, shower instead. If you have an occasional hot shower, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests keeping it at five to ten minutes. Nicol recommends using a gentle cleanser and avoid using too much.
Moisturizing after a shower or bath while your skin is still damp is also a must. Slathering on your favorite lotion helps your skin hold on to precious moisture.
2. Stay away from smoke and fire
Although sitting close to a roaring fireplace can feel good, it is drying to your skin. Smoking and exposure to smoke also harms your skin. Smoking reduces healthy blood flow to the skin. This also causes your skin to wrinkle faster, making you looker older. Additionally your skin heals much slower if you smoke.
3. Consider a humidifier
Cranking up the thermostat dries out indoor air. Skin is our largest organ, and in general, heat is very drying to your skin. To clarify, over time dry air degrades your skin’s natural moisture (lipid) barrier leading to flaking, peeling and cracking.
Your skin can overcompensate for the dryness by producing even more oil. In other words it is possible for your skin to be both oily and dehydrated at the same time. Even oily skin needs a daily lightweight, non-pore clogging moisturizer.
4. Use SPF daily
The sun’s rays damage your skin even on cloudy days. Sunlight contains UVB (burning) and UVA (aging) rays. Although UVB rays are less strong in the winter, the UVA rays are same strength all year. And snow can reflect almost 90% of UV radiation. With this in mind make sure you have suitable skin and eye protection when going outdoors.
5. Take care of your hands and feet
Don’t forget your fingers and toes when moisturizing. These areas tend to be drier than other parts of the body. Gloves help to protect hands from winter weather and lock in moisture. Similarly, putting lotion on your feet before your socks will keep them your skin from flaking and cracking.
Follow the tips above to make sure your skin is at its best, despite the winter weather.