Preparing Your Skin for Winter Weather

The sharp winds of winter have arrived, which means it’s time to think about extra skin protection. The epidermis is responsible for keeping the rest of your skin and body healthy and clear from harmful toxins. When damaged by harsh, cold, dry winter air, this essential barrier loses its ability to effectively provide protection. It also consequently loses its aesthetic lushness and luster.  

These seasonal changes affect not just your face, but also toes, knees, hands, and more. Fortunately, it’s easy to make a few changes and add a few products and steps to your skincare routine that will help offset the harmful winter air.

Moisturize Every Day

During winter, atmospheric moisture generally drops, so you’ll want to preserve the moisture already in your skin by changing from light lotions to those that are cream or petroleum-based. Heavier, oil-based products can seal in your body’s natural moisture and provide a barrier against skin-stripping cold air. This extra coating is beneficial “any time you wash your skin, especially in winter,” the experts at Healthline assert

Note that your skin is most receptive to moisture once you get out of the shower or bathtub. Whenever you emerge from the bath, pat your skin dry, rather than rubbing or scrubbing, and apply a layer of healing moisturizer immediately. 

Clean Your Skin Gently

Staying away from super hot showers will protect your epidermis, even when freezing temperatures tempt you to crank up the heat. “Hot water evaporates fast, and if the skin is not immediately moisturized, the cracks in the skin let the skin nerves get exposed to air, resulting in what feels like lots of paper cuts and eczema, or ‘winter’s itch,’” Dr. Purvisha Patel, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, told Huffpost. Instead, bathe in temperatures safe for a baby

Also, keep sensitivity in mind when it comes to cleansing. “You want a cleanser that is tough on buildup, makeup, and grime but also gentle enough to be used on dry, stressed-out skin. Your best bet? A more soothing cream cleanser,” the Editorialist recommends. Your clothes may also benefit from the same kind of treatment, so consider using laundry detergent for sensitive skin this time of year. 

Humidify Your Home

Most people turn up their heating units in the winter so that they can stay warm and cozy, but this excess heat can be the culprit for damaged skin, as overactive heaters pump dry, hot air throughout your home. A humidifier will add moisture back into your environment. But remember to clean the unit regularly, as humidifiers are prone to mold and fungi if left unchecked. 

Protect Against Extreme Weather 

Those in the colder climates know that walking outside can hurt your face and any exposed skin. As dermatologist Heather Woolery Lloyd told Well + Good, this is because extreme cold and wind can remove the top layer of your skin. Though coats, jackets, and ski pants may be part of your regular winter wardrobe, remember to also wear mittens and scarves that cover your hands and face. 

Visit the Dermatologist

Many over-the-counter products can do a world of good for your skin regimen, but a session with a caring dermatologist may help you deal with the effects of dryness and chapping. At Olansky Dermatology, we provide a wide range of skin rejuvenation remedies year-round. Schedule an appointment online or call (404) 355-5484.