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Although climate change is real and our winters may not be as cold as they use to be, our skin can still feel the change when winter rolls around! 83% of American say their skin feels different in the winter versus the rest of the year with 77% experiencing dryness, 41% experiencing itchiness, and 24% experiencing redness (CeraVe, 2019).If you're feeling any of the above, just know that you are far from alone in this! So let's get into some common skin concerns and how we can alleviate symptoms this time around. 

 

COMMON SKIN CONCERNS IN THE WINTER

Dryness:
  • If you're experiencing dryness, just remember: cold air has less humidity, which can lead to dry and dehydrated skin. On top of that, indoor heating systems can also contribute to this by further reducing humidity levels. So it's normal if you're experiencing dry skin this winter! 
Flakiness and Rough Texture:
  • Like a chain effect, the cold air creating lack of moisture can cause the skin to become rough and flaky. This is often more noticeable in areas with thinner skin, such as the face and hands.
Chapped Lips:
  • Along with your hands and face, cold and windy weather can lead to dry, chapped lips. Lips lack oil glands, making them particularly susceptible to dehydration.
Redness and Irritation:
  • Exposure to harsh weather conditions can cause redness and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. This is why your face is more likely to be red in the winter, on the slopes, etc. Windburn is a common issue in winter.
Eczema and Dermatitis Flare-Ups:
  • If you have pre-existing skin conditions like eczema, you may experience flare-ups during the winter due to the dry air and exposure to certain fabrics (e.g., wool). Make sure you are wearing fabrics that won't irritate your skin! 
Cracked Heels and Hands:
  • Dry and cold weather can lead to cracked and painful skin on the hands and feet, particularly if they are not adequately moisturized and protected.
Dull Complexion:
  • Reduced moisture and exposure to harsh weather can contribute to a dull complexion. Lack of sunlight can also affect the skin's natural radiance.
Sun Damage:
  • Although it might not seem as obvious, the sun's UV rays can still harm the skin in winter. Snow can reflect sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn. This is why we preach sunscreen everyday! Even in the darker winter days! 

 

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR SKIN THIS WINTER

Hydration is Key:
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated from the inside out. Hydrated skin is less prone to dryness and flakiness. You can even consider using a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air!
Moisturize Regularly:
  • Use a rich, emollient moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated! Look for products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. Last but not least, apply moisturizer right after bathing to lock in moisture! 
Protect Your Lips:
  • Use a nourishing lip balm to prevent and soothe chapped lips. Look for balms with ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, or coconut oil. Don't hesitate to reapply as needed throughout the day, especially before going outdoors! 
Gentle Cleansing:
  • Look for a gentle, hydrating cleanser that won't strip your skin of its natural oils and avoid hot water, as it can further dry out the skin (not that you should ever wash your face with hot water!). Lukewarm water is a better choice for washing your face and body.
Layer Up with Clothing:
  • Protect your skin from harsh winds and cold temperatures by wearing layers. Choose fabrics like cotton for the layer closest to your skin to avoid irritation. If you have sensitive skin, consider wearing gloves to protect your hands.
Exfoliate Mindfully:
  • Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and allows moisturizers to penetrate better. However, don't overdo it, as excessive exfoliation can lead to further irritation! Use a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week.
Sunscreen is Still Important:
  • Even in winter, protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, especially if you'll be spending time outdoors. This is crucial, as snow can reflect sunlight and increase the risk of sun damage.

 

These are just a few tips for you to pick up here or there. We understand it's hard to follow all these tips, but pick a few that work best for you and run with it! We are all just doing the best we can over this holiday season, amirite!?

 

CeraVe. (2019, January 7). Survey reveals Itchy Skin ranks among Americans’ top winter troubles. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-reveals-itchy-skin-ranks-among-americans-top-winter-troubles-300773073.html

 

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