The changing of seasons means it’s time to change up your skin care routine. The products and methods you have been using in the previous months may not be enough to get you through the winter.
Here are yours DOs and DON’Ts for winter skin care:
Do Moisturize consistently
- Apply moisturizer, oil, etc. to damp skin for maximum moisture
- Remember your hands and feet. Use a thicker product on the bottom of your feet to avoid cracked heels. Also, sanitize smartly – opt for soap-less cleansers and alcohol free sanitizers to avoid dry hands.
- Use more oil-based products to ensure your skin holds moisture throughout the day.
Don’t Stop using sunscreen. You can get sunburn when it’s 85 and sunny out, or when it’s a little cloudy and 5 below freezing! You should be following the same sunscreen routine you have for the winter that means applying an SPF of 30 or more to any exposed areas 20 minutes before going out, and making sure to re-apply when necessary.
“Winter weather can intensify the negative effects of UV exposure in several ways. First, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, meaning the same sun rays can hit you twice. And second, snow and strong winds can erode sunscreen protection.”
-Dr. Joshua Fox
Do Combat dry and cold air with a humidifier. During the winter months it is expected that everyone will be turning up the heat at home or in the office. The hot air not only dries your skin out, but may also cause redness and irritation. You don’t have to only worry about indoor temperatures, the lack of humidity outside in the colder months of the year also contribute to the issue of dry skin. Investing in a humidifier can add moisture back into the air, allowing your skin to retain it’s moisture too.
Don’t Forget your hair and scalp! Your scalp especially can become just as dry and flaky as your skin can in the winter. One of the most important things you can do to prevent dry scalp is using the right products. It may take a few trials but it is essential to have a hair cleansing routine that can blast away build up, dead skin cells, and left over hair product. Also consider a hair mask once a month for deep cleaning. If necessary speak to your dermatologist about getting a prescription strength shampoo or hair treatment to restore your healthy scalp. Over-washing can also make your scalp dry, flaky and itchy, so be mindful.
Do Shower with warm or cold water (YES, in the winter!) As tempting as a hot shower sounds after a long and stressful day, try to avoid it! The hot water temperatures are actually stripping your skin of moisture, leaving dry skin in its place. Recently, our very own Dr. Whitney Bowe was featured in an article from Style Caster on the benefits of taking cold showers, even through the winter.
“Hot water disrupts the skin’s natural oils, removing its natural ability to ward off dryness and irritants. Lukewarm water is much more gentle on the skin.”
-Dr. Whitney Bowe
Don’t Stop Exercising. There are several benefits that come from exercising. They include: skin repair, maintaining hormone levels and more.
Do Change at-home skin care treatments that can potentially irritate your skin, like certain facial peels and masks. If you notice that your skin is already dry, cracked, and irritated do not use products with harsh ingredients like alcohol or acids that can irritate and strip your skin of moisture even further.
If you have any questions or concerns about your hair, nails, or scalp seeking counsel from a dermatologist will be your best option. Don’t let the winter get the best of your skin!