The Thanksgiving season has passed and that means we’re getting closer to the merriest season of the year–the Holidays! While it is a time when spirits are up and you can already feel the excitement everywhere, this is also when the cold and breezy weather sets in or simply put–winter is in!
The biting cold will remind you of the Christmas weather. As for some people, it is the perfect time to be fashionable with layered clothing and boots. However, you should also keep in mind that winter isn’t just all about the nice things. With the dry and cold weather that can easily strip the moisture off your skin, you could be facing a range of winter skin problems, especially if you’ll fail to switch to a season-friendly beauty routine.
Seasonal weather changes can wreak havoc on your skin. And with the celebrations that you’ll be taking part of, you wouldn’t want that! Good thing, with all the pesky winter skin problems are the solutions that can spare you from those cold weather pitfalls. Read on.
Your Winter Skin Care Problems, Solved!
Your skin type has a lot to do with how you will be able to combat your winter skin care problems. It is just important to make sure that when the cold air hits, you have to put your best defenses up to effectively avoid the problem with winter skin.
To help you, below are the most common winter skin problems that you may encounter, along with the solutions that will help you achieve a soft, supple and flaw-free complexion–all season long.
Winter Skin Problem #1 – UV Damage
Contrary to what some people may believe in, UV rays, particularly UVA are present even in winter, the same way that the strength of the sun rays doesn’t weaken during this season.
UVA is defined as the sun rays with a longer wavelength that are able to reach the earth whatever the condition is. These rays can penetrate deeply into the skin from the epidermis right to the dermis, causing hazardous side effects. Studies also show that UVA rays are so strong that they can penetrate fabrics, glasses, and clothes.
Whatever your skin type is, keep in mind that even when you cannot feel the sun, you’re still exposed to harsh UV rays and may bear the damages that it may cause.
Having a fair complexion puts you at risk for greater UV damage as less skin pigment means you’ll also be getting lesser natural protection from the sun. However, that doesn’t leave dark-skinned people with lesser worries. While olive-toned complexions get longer sun protection, they are also prone to skin irritations such as acne and dry patches.
On the other hand, if you have freckles, the more that you should be cautious as these are indicators of your body’s attempt to stay protected from a previous UV damage.
What you can do is to wear sunscreen even in winter. Choose natural beauty products with built-in sunscreen protection to be spared not only from Cancer, but also from wrinkles and other signs of premature skin ageing. To prevent large and dark spots, use moisturizer on a daily basis to minimise irritation and maintain a smooth and even complexion.
Winter Skin Problem #2 – Dryness
The cool winter air may feel good against your skin, but you have to be aware that it will also leave your skin constantly dry. During the season when the environment is harsh to the skin because of the dry, cold air and drop in humidity, the water in the skin also evaporates quickly, leaving it feeling dry and tight, with a flaky look.
Stay hydrated to beat the harsh elements in the environment. And what would be the best way to do that? By staying moisturised from the inside out. Aside from using natural moisturisers that are heavier than what you normally use, you should also nourish your body with foods that can replenish your body moisture.
Did you know that lotions or creams in pump bottles are often diluted with water or alcohol? This means that their ability to seal in moisture is reduced. For this reason, it is better to use moisturisers that are available in jars or tubes, like the following:
Winter Skin Problem #3 – Flaky Skin
Aside from dryness, winter skin problems can become severe which can lead to skin cracks and flakes. And this is regardless whether you’re using a moisturiser on a regular basis or not.
You can remove the damaged top layer of the skin by using an exfoliating wash. Avoid using soaps as they contain high PH that can cause inflammation, dryness, and disrupt the outer layer of the skin. It is also important to avoid rubbing towel against the skin as it can lead to further damage.
Winter Skin Problem #4 – Chapped Lips
As your skin experiences dryness during winter, there are also changes that occur on your lips. Oftentimes, they appear as chaps and cracks. They look unsightly and may cause a bit of discomfort as a result of the broken top layer.
Products that contain Vitamins A and E and other moisturising ingredients can soothe the skin and aid in its repair. For best results, you can apply cool water to moisten the lips before the application of the products that are aimed at soothing and softening the lips.
Winter Skin Problem #5 – Flare-Ups
Skin flare-ups can happen especially if you’ll tend to switch to new skincare products in certain areas. Breakouts usually occur when your skin is exposed to new elements. Also, there are skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, that are triggered when skin moisture is compromised.
Be gentle in working with new cleansers and moisturisers. It will also help if you can avoid products that can cause skin irritation and dryness. When taking a shower, keep it short and use lukewarm water. Instead of rubbing the skin with a towel, it would be best to pat yourself dry before. A moisturiser should also be applied immediately after taking a bath.
Winter Skin Problem #6 – Itchy Patches
Itchy patches, also known as winter itch, usually occurs along with the drop in temperature. It comes as a result of the cold winter days that strips away the natural barrier of your skin, which leads to dry, itchy and irritated skin.
Avoid spending long hours under the hot shower as this will only worsen skin dryness. To deal away with the itch, choose the right clothes to wear. Wool should be avoided as it will further cause skin irritation and increase sensitivity. Preferably, soft cottons and silks should be worn.
The 2001 Archives of Dermatology report stated that stress levels affect the ability of the body to retain water. In the research, it is revealed that during periods of stress, such as after a winter vacation, during final exams, and during spring break, there is a reduction in the skin’s ability to retain water.
Winter Skin Problem #7 – Irritation and Redness
During winter, you will experience skin changes which may lead to irritation and redness–conditions that may persist throughout the cold weather season.
To manage the condition, follow a skin care routine that will allow you to gently cleanse the skin. Use a natural cleanser to deal away with the irritants and apply heavy moisturiser to compensate for your skin’s hydration requirements.
In brief, here are some of the most important considerations that you have to keep in mind to properly care for the skin and beat the problems that may come with the changes in season.
Basic Steps to Beat Your Winter Skin Care Problems
- Keep shower time short. Though you’d love to bathe in hot water to beat the cold weather, your skin will be in a better condition when lukewarm water is used.
- Stay away from harsh soaps. Instead, switch to moisture-rich soaps that are gentle to the skin.
- Pat don’t rub. Rubbing will only worsen dryness and may cause trauma to the skin.
- Maintain humidity inside your home. Improve moisture levels by using a humidifier and maintaining the ideal humidity level within 30-50%.
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. It’s time to start a regular moisturising routine. The best time to do it? As soon as you left the shower!
- Choose the right fabric. Stay comfortable while keeping your skin away from irritants by using breathable fabric and loose clothing.
- Boost your immunity. Bacterial, fungal and viral infections that may be experienced in winter can be controlled by staying healthy. The more you want to stay free from winter skin problems, the more that you should maintain good hygiene, get enough sleep, eat healthily and exercise.
- Stay free from stress. Whether you’re dealing with emotional stress or if you feel pressure because of the Holidays, take time to relax. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are just some of the ways to beat stress.
Are you ready for winter? Looking for more winter skin care tips? Here’s an infographic to help your skin become fit and ready for the changing weather.