6 Tips To Stop Winter From Wrecking Your Skin
With winter comes the holiday season and celebrations. But with winter can also come itchiness and other skin problems. Cold air and low humidity can literally such the moisture out of your skin and leave it dry and flaky. This excess dryness can cause itchiness and other skin problems. So let’s look at a handful of tips for protecting yourself against the “winter itch”.
Moisturizer is your first line defence against dry winter air. You don’t need an expensive moisturizer. All moisturizers, from the cheapest to the top of the line, work similarly. They contain substances that bind water into the skin (usually glycerin) and others that form a sealing layer on the skin and prevent water from escaping.
Another reason to moisturize, a recent paper published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that keeping skin hydrates both prevents scar formation and helps existing scars heal faster. A blessing for any acne patient whose skin is prone to scarring.
Cleanse – but don’t go overboard with it
Cleansing and good skin hygiene are important, but it’s easy to go overboard with them. During winter you don’t need to cleanse your skin as often as during summer, because you sweat less.
For most people cleansing the skin once a day in winter is enough. Remember that cleansing the skin can also irritate it. As the skin is vulnerable during winter you want to avoid stressing it extensively.
Go easy with hot water and soap
Everybody loves hot showers during winter. It’s a little bit of luxury to escape the biting cold. Unfortunately long, hot showers are anything but luxury to your skin. While the skin can absorb moisture during shower, long exposure to hot water actually dehydrates the skin.
Soap is something you should avoid regardless of the season, but especially during winter. Soap strips the protective acid mantle from the skin and can damage the skin barrier function. This can lead to extensive moisture loss and skin irritation. Instead of soap, choose pH-balanced cleansers for your face.
Use a humidifier
As you can see, lot of the winter skin care is about keeping your skin hydrated. And ambient moisture levels play a part in that. The skin loses more moisture in dry air. If you are prone to winter itching or other skin problems consider investing into a humidifier.
Protect yourself from wind and sun
Exposure to harsh winter winds can be especially damaging to your skin. Cover your face or use thick, petroleum based moisturizers during longer exposures. While it’s easy to discount, even the winter sun can cause skin damage and lead to premature ageing.
Take a vitamin D supplement
While sun exposure during winter can be damaging it unfortunately doesn’t help your skin to produce vitamin D, and the levels can seriously plummet during winter. Vitamin D can be especially important for for acne patients as it may mitigate hormonal issues behind acne.
1000 to 2000 IU per day is sufficient to keep your vitamin D levels at healthy ranges even during winter. These levels are only possible with supplementation as even most ‘vitamin D rich’ don’t contain that much.
About the author
Seppo Puusa writes AcneEinstein.com blog – the place for rational advice about alternative and natural acne cures. Recently he has been writing about the role of diet in acne. Please visit AcneEinstein.com to learn how your diet affects acne.
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