Winter is tough on skin. Harsh, cold wind outside, along with dry indoor heat combine into the perfect storm for creating dry, itchy, unhealthy skin. Fortunately, a few simple tips can help you protect your skin in these harsh conditions and keep your skin healthy all winter long.
1. Not All Moisturizers are Created Equally
While a lighter, water based lotion works great in the warmer spring and summer months, you will need to choose a thicker, oil based cream for the colder months. An oil based cream works by creating a barrier between your skin and the cold, dry winter air. Be sure to apply cream regularly, as directed, to keep your skin protected every day.
2. Wear Gloves and Protective Clothing
Cream creates an invisible protective barrier, but use a layer of protective clothing to shield your skin even more from harsh winter conditions. Your hands are particularly vulnerable because they are often exposed while completing tasks. Choose a comfortable, functional pair of gloves and wear them every day when it begins to become cold.
3. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
When it is hot and the sun is beating down, it is easy to remember to apply sunscreen. It is easy to forget when it is freezing cold, cloudy or snowing that the sun is still present and there is still the potential to damage your skin by leaving it unprotected from the sun. Wearing sunscreen each day throughout the year will make it a habit and also help protect you from serious medical conditions like skin caner as well as superficial problems like premature skin aging.
4. Don’t Overlook Lips and Nails
Your lips and your nails are skin too. Cold wind can be particularly damaging to the delicate skin on lips, so be sure to protect them with a quality lip balm to keep them from drying out and potentially cracking and bleeding. Also be sure to take care of your nails and cuticles. Cuticles are particularly prone to drying out during the winter and can crack, becoming very painful. Vaseline is a great product to apply to the nails and cuticles to protect them.
5. Seek Expert Help
If you follow these tips and you are still having issues with your skin in the winter, it might be time to seek the professional help of a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to determine what is going on with your individual skin and make the best treatment plan for you.
Taking the time to protect your skin in the winter will help keep you comfortable and looking your best all year long.