Keeping Dry Skin at Bay
When winter temperatures hit, we put on coats, scarves, hats and boots to keep our bodies warm. But it is just as, if not more important, to protect the delicate skin on your face.
Biting cold and wind can assault exposed skin, causing dryness, chafing and other more serious skin disorders, including frostbite. And, it happens quickly. So, before you venture out, even for a few minutes, moisturize with a broad-spectrum sunblock and apply a petroleum-based product to your lips. If your moisturizer is oil-based, choose an oil that is “non-clogging,” such as avocado, mineral, primrose or almond. Then, cover your face as best as you can with a scarf or hood. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses, which will protect your eyes from glare, freezing temperatures and wind.
To avoid the inflamed and itchy skin that happens all over your body during the winter months, you can take several preventative steps all season long, around the clock. Remember, the condition happens because of a lack of water, not oil, so the following tactics aim to prevent dehydration.
- If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, an alcohol-free toner and masks that are “deeply hydrating” rather than clay-based, which tend to draw moisture out of the face.
- Trap water from a shower or bath quickly by applying a water-in-oil cream moisturizer. If you have sensitive skin to begin with, use a cream moisturizer that does not contain lanolin or perfume, and don’t scrimp. More is better in this case, particularly on your hands, elbows and feet (these can contain petroleum or glycerin).
- Choose a shower instead of a bath; sitting in hot water will break down lipids and dry your skin.
- Limit your use of hot water and soap. Take short lukewarm showers, using non-detergent soaps and cleansers, and only as much as you need since they remove natural moisturizers from the skin. If you must bathe, keep the water as cool as possible.
- Keep your house temperature as low as you can (no higher than 78 degrees) and use a humidifier that returns moisture to the air.
- Overnight, use a thicker night cream on your face, a product formulated for the delicate skin under and over the eyes, and a lip balm.
As always, call my office to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we can help you look and feel your best.
See you soon.