Winter Skincare Tips
When you think about skincare, you often focus on the most visible and obvious causes of damage, like the harsh UV rays of the sun. However, while these cannot be ignored, there are several months out of the year – our winter months – that can cause significant issues with your skin if not approached properly. Proper winter skin care can contribute dramatically to a more polished look all year round. So, with that said, let’s dive right into how we can keep our skin in great shape throughout the harsher winter months.
While it may seem counterintuitive because of the temperature, winter can be just as dehydrating as summer, often even more so. This is because we typically experience very low humidity during the winter months, and this not only increases the amount of water our body loses but also how much water is pulled from our skin. This is exacerbated by being in extremely dry environments where the heat is running, whether in our home, the car, or work. We spend virtually all winter in a low-humidity environment and need to conserve as much hydration as possible.
This can be achieved in a couple of ways. First, using a daily moisturizer is a must. Sure, your lips and the backs of your hands may chap sooner than your face, but this doesn’t mean that that delicate skin is not being affected as well. You can get even more bang for your buck by using a moisturizing cream containing hyaluronic acid or HA.
During this time, it’s also important that you keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You probably already know you should consume at least 64 ounces of water daily. This is a baseline that should be increased based on the amount of activity, as well as the humidity levels that you find yourself in. If you work out, you’ll likely need significantly more than those 64 ounces. Remember that while coffee and tea do contribute to your overall hydration status, caffeine is a diuretic and will make you eliminate more water as well. So, if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Sip plenty of water regularly over the course of the day.
This is also a great reminder not to take hot showers or baths. The intense heat can strip the beneficial oils in your skin and further dehydrate you. Similarly, try not to use exfoliators more than once or twice a week, as those also eliminate important natural oils.
Over the winter, you’ll also want to continue wearing light sunscreen. While the sun’s rays are decidedly less intense in winter, those UV rays can still cause problems and damage that you won’t see for years. Remember that moisturizer we just talked about? If it contains sunscreen, you’re already ahead of the game. And remember that a sun-blocking sunscreen is usually preferable to chemical sunscreens that absorb UV light.
Lastly, but certainly not least, what you eat during the winter months will significantly affect your complexion. When it’s cold outside, we are often drawn toward comfort foods as we develop that winter layer of fat. While occasionally indulging is not going to appreciably change your skin, tone, or complexion, overdoing it can set you up for more intense skin repair in the spring and summer. Try to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and empty carbs like sugar and white grains. Instead, opt for healthy oils like avocado and olive, and fatty fish, like salmon, for your protein. These foods will help the quality of your skin and its ability to retain moisture.
As you can see, there’s plenty of work to be done during the winter to maintain that radiant glow. You also have the dermatologists and providers at North Atlanta Dermatology to help you through the skin care challenges during these months. Feel free to schedule an appointment with one of us to discuss your skincare options and start a comprehensive regimen with one of our prescription products and effective treatments.