Today I talked to one of our clients who lives on the East coast and she spoke of a nasty winter storm blowing in her neighbourhood. This conversation prompted a new blog on how to care for our skin in winter.
- Even in winter, when the sun seems to be hiding behind a cloud blanket, there are still enough UVA and UVB around to prompt the use of sunscreen.
- In cold temperatures we lose water via the skin, which becomes very dehydrated. You need a heavier moisturizer than the summer one, as well as a good body lotion. When skin dries it may flake, become itchy and even crack. The protective barrier is broken, then bacteria can easily create at least irritation, at worst infections.
- Try to drink two to four ounces of water every couple of hours throughout the day.
- Your diet is critical. Make sure you have an adequate amount of essential fatty acids, as they are vital in helping maintain the moisture barrier. Be sure to add good sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs) – salmon, avocado, and almonds are great sources.
- Dry, cold skin is the playground of free radicals. Make sure you continue to use antioxidants during the winter, as well as during the summer. Using products with vitamin C and vitamin E and taking these as oral supplements will enhance resistance to free radical damage.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water, which, combined with aggressive soaps, can really tear up the skin barrier. Keep it short and set the water temperature only as hot as you need it to be.
- Check the humidity of your home and workplace. If it falls below 60 percent, your skin will tend to lose more moisture. A humidifier, even a portable one, would be of great help in that case.
- Review your skin care routine and adjust it to include a gentle milk cleanser and toner, a heavier moisturizer than the summer one, and a nourishing night cream.