5 ways to help winterize your skin
Baby it is cold outside! With the chill of winter in the air, our skin tends to get drier. It's not limited to any particular skin type, gender, age or nationality. It truly is an equal opportunity offender. While dry skin is irritating and can be cosmetically unsightly, if left untreated infections can occur. An ounce of prevention is certainly worth your time.
Having the heat on inside is a necessity however it can really dry out your skin. That on top of those long hot showers that feel so good can really raise havoc on your skin. It can be treated however, prevention is the key.
In nursing school I remember they taught us that the skin is the body’s largest organ. That is very true. When you consider that in every inch of skin you have 19 million skin cells, that is pretty amazing. According to the American Academy of dermatology, the top 20 or so layers of skin are made of dead cells. That is a lot, however luckily your body is always busy getting rid of those cells at the tune of 40,000 old cells every day. Take a look at your arm. See that skin? Don’t get too used to it as it will be entirely gone in a month’s time and you will have entirely new skin there. In the meantime, it is important to baby that skin, especially against the harshness of winter. Here are some tips.
Don’t take a bath
What? I don’t mean not to cleanse your skin. Actually that is important. Just limit the time in the shower or tub. As relaxing and soothing as a long hot shower or bath feels, it is pulling your natural moisture from your skin. Limit your time to 10-5 minutes. Keep the bathroom door closed in order to keep as much moisture in the air as possible. Try to resist putting on the exhaust fan as well if you can. Try to use warm water that is not too hot. While you are at it avoid strong soaps and use moisturizing cleansers like Dove instead.
Watch that razor
There is nothing like a close smooth shave. However, is can also be very drying. Remember to protect your skin with a moisturizing shaving cream or lotion first. Don’t rub your skin with a rough towel after either. That only makes dry skin matters worse.
Pat it down
Don’t scrub your hide off after you shower and shave! Pat your skin gently with a soft towel. Don’t completely dry yourself off either. Allow some moisture to remain in place and then apply a moisturizer.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Moisturize immediately after lightly toweling off. Don’t limit yourself to once a day either. Moisturize well and often, especially areas that are very dry and rough such as your elbows and areas that are washed often such as your hands. Don’t forget to do so again before you go to bed. If your feet or hands are exceptionally dry try putting socks and gloves on after you moisture. That will keep them warm and allow the moisture to penetrate. You may want to consider using a moisturizer that contains a larger amount of oil. The higher the level of oil the better it protects against moisture loss. Look for products that contain cocoa or shea butter, glycerin, urea, olive oil, jojoba or grape seed oil.
Get ready for the elements
Don’t forget your SPF sunscreen before you go outside either! Just because it is not 90 degrees and sunny does not mean that you are not being exposed to the sun’s rays. In fact if you are exposed to the reflection of the sun off snow, you are receiving 80% of the suns reflective powers versus only 18% off sand.
Grab those gloves! Keeping your hands protected from the cold air and low humidity helps keep them smooth and soft.
Take home message:
Carry a small travel bottle of lotion to apply to your hands after washing. Don’t forget lip balm as well to keep them kiss-ably soft.
If your skin remains dry and starts to crack and shows sign of infection, that can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment by a dermatologist,