Winter is a rough time for skin. Especially in higher altitudes and snowy environments. Cold air is low in humidity. Altitude makes it worse drawing moisture out of the skin and leaving it super dry. Dry skin neither looks good nor feels good. And causes problems!
Being in the wind helps the evaporation process and accelerates drying. Then we go inside where it’s nice and warm, and therefore even drier! The perfect storm for dry, cracked and even bleeding skin: hands and knuckles especially. Not to mention what it’s doing to your face.
The combination of low temperatures, low humidity and wind can also exacerbate skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, breakouts, eczema and ultra-dry skin.
So, here are 5 things you can do to help protect your skin during the winter.
- Use moisturizer several times every day. It’s all about moisture, moisture, moisture. Keep applying your favorite moisturizer throughout the day. Carry it with you and apply regularly. Use a botanical wash or cleanser that won’t strip your natural oils. Many cleaners and washes will literally strip away your own natural body oils. This is exactly what we don’t want. A good botanical wash will cleanse, nourish and hydrate in its own right. When finished washing then apply your moisturizer immediately. Following this routine daily will do wonders for keeping your skin in tip-top condition.
- Choose a clean botanical-based moisturizer. Many skincare companies will tell you to use moisturizers that “seal” your skin like a plastic wrap. These sealants are ingredients like petroleum, lanolin, and silicone (dimethicone). This is a big mistake. Sealing your skin might appear to keep in moisture but your skin can’t breathe. It’s not natural and a great way to kick start breakouts. Not to mention most of these “sealants” are rated as toxic. A good quality botanical moisturizer, without toxic ingredients, will give you an overall better, and safer, result.
- Winter sun can still burn. If you ski or go out on sunny days in snow country, the reflecting sun can still burn and damage your skin. Sunscreen is still a good idea. Especially for your lips, face and exposed areas. But take your moisturizer with you too. A good moisturizer will protect you from drying out on those skiing days, especially if its windy.
- Stay away from tanning salons. Being bombarded with ultraviolet rays can cause skin cell damage which can increase your risk of skin cancer. This is never a good idea. You may think you need a boost of vitamin D, or like the look of a winter tan, but you are far better of taking a vitamin D supplement than laying on a tanning bed. The risk is just not worth it.
- Get a good humidifier. When inside your home you can do much to increase the humidity. Your skin will love you for it. Get a good high output humidifier that will increase the moisture content inside your home. They are quiet, cheap to run and make a big difference. Not only will your skin feel better but a humidifier will make you feel better over-all. It will also help with cracked lips, dry eyes and dry nasal passages. A very good investment in winter. Run it at night in your bedroom and feel the difference.
Your skin is your friend and your best asset. Keep it happy, healthy and vital by using quality skin care products. You do not have to spend big money but you do need to choose your products carefully. Many will sound good on the label but are full of harsh and often toxic ingredients that end up doing exactly the opposite of what you want. Meaning they might actually dry out your skin and even accelerate the aging process by using harsh chemicals with the promise of an instant rejuvenation. Your skin is a living breathing part of your body and does not like toxic chemicals very much. Acquaint yourself with common skincare ingredients and their toxicity levels.
Look after your skin well and it will serve you for the rest of your life.