If you’re feeling the strain of the cold-weather effects on your skin, you’re not alone. Harris Poll and Cerave recently found that 61% of Americans anticipate tough challenges when it comes to their skin and winter weather. Patients’ concerns include dryness and cracking in their skin, and things like indoor heating and wind chill exacerbate these. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to combat the winter doldrums:
Stop using products that cause inflammation: You may think of inflammation as an allergic reaction or a condition like eczema, but many skincare routines and products can create inflammation in the skin. Therefore, it’s essential to look at the products and processes you are using that can contribute to irritation. Some ways you can create unnecessary inflammation are:
- Cleansing too harshly with electric scrub brushes or harsh bristles. Instead, a gentle cleanser such as one from ZO Skin Health can be less abrasive.
- Exfoliating too often with the wrong products: When done improperly, exfoliation can cause additional inflammation, especially with home products like sugar scrubs. Instead, consult a skin care professional to understand which products to use and how often. It’s crucial to understand the importance of proper care and recovery as the environmental conditions stress the skin.
Layer your skincare products: During the cooler months, your SPF is as important as ever. Your impulse may be to shove that SPF into your summer makeup bag, but skincare experts agree that sunscreen will protect you against UV rays that are present year-round. During the winter, you receive fewer UV rays than laying out by the pool, which are called incidental sun exposures. This kind of exposure results in fine lines and can happen even if you’re sitting in an office for most days. One of the best ways to beat this exposure is by layering your skincare products. One example would be applying your preferred moisturizer underneath regular SPF products. This seals in the much-needed moisture that your skin craves.
Use a humidifier while you sleep: This is a lesser-known tip that can be incredibly helpful for your skin because it replenishes moisture in the air. Be sure to choose a humidifier that prevents mold and bacteria and has an evaporative system, otherwise you may just be releasing unhealthy water vapor into the air and onto your skin. One of the things that causes irritation and the appearance of dryness in the skin is the quick swings from cold to hot temperatures (for example: coming in from the cold to a heated room), and a humidifier can equalize some of those swings. In addition, running a safe and clean humidifier while you sleep is an easy way to help your skin maintain it’s hydration.
Don’t neglect your lips: A hydrating balm with SPF can be a secret weapon to a supple and pretty pout all year. Although most patients take steps to cover their heads with hats or their eyes with sunglasses, the lips are an area that’s harder to protect against cold weather. Choosing the right lip balm is important, and you can find the right one by searching for an ointment-based treatment. First, ointment-based lip balms help seal in moisture and tend to be thicker and cling to the lip surfaces. Secondly, you want to avoid lip balms that contain ingredients like eucalyptus or menthol during the cold months because they can dry your lips out further. Lastly, always look for a lip treatment that contains SPF because it’s the best way to prevent sunburn on the delicate tissue of your lips.
Stick to a consistent routine: With the hustle and bustle of the holidays during winter, it can be easy to slip out of your skincare routine due to travel or changes to your usual routine. Although it is an incredibly hectic time of year, it’s even more crucial that you prioritize your skincare. Specifically, it can help to purchase a small travel container set so that you can bring small amounts of your preferred products anywhere you go. It can also help to use an alarm on your phone to remind you to moisturize and gently cleanse in the evenings or mornings. Lastly, it’s helpful to recognize that your skincare should change during the cooler months because the needs are different. As the seasons change from warm to cold, it’s a reminder that our skincare should also switch to accommodate the environment.
The winter months are the perfect time to schedule a consultation with our skincare experts at Renew Medical Spa. It can be a time to discuss the products you’re using and get personalized recommendations, or to undergo a renewing procedure like a HydroPlus Facial or a MicroLaser Peel. To get started, simply call our caring staff at (541) 524-4416.