Winter weather is on its way, and it might not be long before your skin starts to feel the effects of the season’s shorter days, colder temperatures, and drier air. The dryness of both the outdoor air and indoor heat can draw moisture away from your skin if you’re not properly prepared, leading to cracked, bleeding skin, flareups of acne, eczema and/or psoriasis, and more. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect your skin this coming winter.
When temperatures drop, a long, hot shower undoubtedly offers some lovely relief. However, keep in mind that the hotter and longer your showers are, the more natural oils will be stripped from your skin, contributing to dry skin, inflammation, and other issues. As challenging as it might be, try to stick with lukewarm to warm water when taking a bath or shower and when washing your face and hands -- your skin will thank you for your sacrifice.
While exfoliating your skin helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, excessive exfoliation can actually dry out your skin, especially during the winter. Both physical and chemical exfoliation methods essentially reduce the barrier layer of your skin, which helps keep moisture inside your skin. So, when you exfoliate too frequently and/or too aggressively, you allow moisture and natural oils to escape your pores, leaving your skin dry. That said, failing to exfoliate at all can also leave your skin dry due to a buildup of dead skin cells. You’ll want to find the right exfoliating regimen for your skin this winter to achieve the proper balance.
The best way to keep dry skin, winter eczema, and other winter-related skin problems at bay is to keep your skin properly moisturized. Moisturizing is important year-round, but it’s a good idea to redouble your hydration efforts during the winter to offset the cold, dry air. If you decide to moisturize more than once a day, choose products with complementary hydration qualities. For instance, you might start with a hydrating, hyaluronic acid non-alcohol gel and then apply a traditional moisturizer on top of it. Moisturizers with higher oil contents can help maintain your skin’s water levels, but if you have naturally oily skin, you might go for a different option. Talk to your dermatologist about which moisturizer(s) is best for your skin type in the context of winter weather.
Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. While the sun doesn’t show its face as often during the winter months, its ultraviolet (UV) radiation still poses a threat to your skin. Of course, being bundled up outdoors helps keep these rays from reaching your skin, but sun damaged skin can still occur on any exposed areas. Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to these areas will keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
In addition to directly taking care of your skin via products and lifestyle adjustments, you can get your skin ready for winter by adjusting your immediate environment. To be more specific, investing in a humidifier can greatly mitigate the negative effects of dry, indoor heat, introducing some much needed water vapor in your home or apartment. Even installing a single humidifier in your bedroom can reduce the risk of developing a dry skin rash overnight.
Another winter is on its way. Is your skin ready to take on these harsh conditions? If you need help in this pursuit, the experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are here for you. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.