It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Well maybe not for your skin. As the colder winter weather starts to settle in it can affect your skin in several ways. Dry skin is a very common problem of the season. Cold temperatures, windy weather and low humidity make it more difficult for the skin to retain moisture, and dries up natural oils, causing it to feel tight and itchy. The obvious solution might seem to be spending more time inside, but during the winter, indoor heating systems make inside air even more drying to the skin.
The most important key when dealing with winter skin issues, is to prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL), this is the water loss caused by evaporation on the skin’s surface. One of the first steps in preventing the moisture naturally in our skin from leaving is to not over strip it by excess washing or using too harsh of products. A creamy cleanser works well this time of year for most, except those with acne or oily skin issues.
Hyaluronic Acid (which is more like a serum) is a wonderful product for dry skin. It is found naturally in the skin. It helps to plump the skin and holds up to 1,000 times it own weight in water, meaning it helps retain the moisture. As we age the amount we produce declines, so applying products with hyaluronic acid is great for aging skin. After I cleanse I like to apply hyaluronic acid right onto my skin while it is still damp, this helps to trap moisture.
Look for a richer moisturizer containing Shea butter. Shea butter is natural nut oil rich in vitamins A, E & F. It moisturizers, revitalizes and softens the skin. I use mine morning and night. I also have a Shea butter hand cream, and use it after I wash my hands as they also get extra dry this time of year.
As an avid walker, I never leave the house without sunscreen and this holds especially true during the winter months. If snow is on the ground, sunlight gets reflected back onto the skin, so you are double exposed. I also protect my skin from the wind on colder days with a thin layer of Aquafore, this isn’t for everyone, but my rosacea-affected skin needs this, to prevent redness and cracked skin.
To deal with dryness inside, try a humidifier or cracking a window to help boost moisture in the air.
This time of year holiday parties, late nights of shopping and other holiday preparations can lead to stress and lack of sleep which effects the skins’ overall appearance and ability to heal. Make sure you keep up your water in-take, as it is very tempting to turn to warmer drinks containing caffeine. We also tend to consume more alcoholic drinks during holiday festivities which dehydrates the skin, a good rule of thumb, for every one cup of coffee or alcohol drink, have a glass of water, your skin will look much better in the morning.
Enjoy the merriment of the season, and by just making a few small changes to your skin care routine you can keep your skin healthy and glowing all season long.