While its technically still fall, the cold dry air of winter has already arrived in many places. This can be a killer on the skin, causing it to become rough, flaky, chapped and red. Most at risk are the hands and face, but other areas of the body can also be affected, such as the elbows, legs and feet. Here are some tips to help you protect your skin from the effects of winter.
Use Creams Rather Than Lotions
Light lotions are great for summer’s sunny glow, but not for the heavy-duty requirements of a dry winter. Switch to creams for the next several months because they tend to be more moisturizing due to their thicker barriers that can reduce water loss. Creams are heavier, to be sure, but they protect the skin from extreme humidity and temperature fluctuations.
Tighten up Your Shower Times
While it may feel good to stand under warm water for a long time on those cold winter mornings, it’s best to keep it short. Those long baths and showers tend to dry out your skin, even though it may seem like you are feeding your skin much needed moisture. Take shorter showers and baths and pat your skin dry when getting out rather than scrubbing it dry. Use moisturizer over your entire body immediately to lock in moisture. Forget the bar soap and go with a hydrating shower gel instead. Soap is notorious for drying out the skin.
You probably don’t realize it, but stress can affect the skin. When you aren’t sleeping well, drinking and eating more than usual, and worrying about things outside of your control, the effects will show on your skin. Treat your skin with quality vitamin enriched creams to help keep it looking fresh. Try not to snack on so many sugary foods and those filled with carbohydrates, and definitely stay away from processed, fast foods.
When heading outside in the frigid temps, be sure to grab some gloves. Nowhere does dehydration show up more than in the hands. The hands are also the first to show signs of aging. When you expose your hands to the dry, cold air, you’re asking for chapped skin that can cause small cracks and easily become infected. While you’re at it, always keep lip balm in your purse to protect your lips as well.
Get Ahead of Scars
If you experience a cut or burn that could result in an unsightly scar, prevent that from happening by using topical treatments like Scarfade that help reduce scarring on the skin. Silicone scar gels have been proven to regulate the body’s production of collagen at wound sites. This is important because if the body overproduces Collagen, the result will be a thick, raised scar.