40 Lake Bellevue Drive, Suite 100
Bellevue, WA 98005


Does Your Skin Suffer During the Cold Winter Months?
11/11/2015 Debbie Caddell

If you experience dry, rough and uncomfortable skin in the winter then there might be help for you. Dry skin is more than just uncomfortable; it can also put you at risk for infections.  If you start on a proper regime right now you can breeze through winter without the discomfort of dry, irritated and itchy skin.

When you have itchy, flakey, dry and irritated skin you want fast relief! There are a few simple tricks for keeping your skin glowing and feeling healthier this winter. How you keep your skin clean, your clothes and even the air around you can also affect your skin.

1.    Hot showers are a NO-NO!
That steamy hot shower sure feels good however it’s not good for your skin. Hot showers to strip your body of its natural oil barrier, which is needed to help contain moisture and keep your skin moist and smooth. Hot showers also dehydrate your skin, making it necessary to replace the moisture and oils that hot water removes.
So turn down the temperature and remember not to stay in your shower or bath too long.  Baths and showers that last no longer than 10 minutes are recommended by skin care experts. Afterward, gently pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer.

2.    Should you use soap or cleanser?
Products with perfumes, deodorant or antibacterial can be harsh on skin. Products with toners, peels and astringents that are made with alcohol are very drying to your skin as well. Consider using a cleanser that contains ceramides, fatty molecules that make up the outer barrier of yours skin. Ceramides hold the top layer of skin in place, kind of like glue. Some skin care products use synthetic ceramides to replace those we lose with age and these will help hold in moisture as well. By age 60, the ceramide loss is so great that the upper layer of skin is 30% thinner.
Treat Your Skin Carefully During Cold Winter Months
3.    Moisturizers
Rich moisturizers contain shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, glycerin and petroleum jelly and are often the best remedy for dry skin. The richness is necessary to replace the skin barrier, be sure and look for a cream with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to get the bonus of sun protection. Whichever product you choose the most important thing is to be consistent, a smart moisturizing routine starts with applying product on a consistent basis:
  • Wash with a mild soap or non-soap liquid cleanser, preferably one with ceramides to replenish skin’s outer layer.
  • Pat skin dry for 20 seconds or less.
  • Apply moisturizer to damp skin immediately after drying skin.
  • Apply moisturizer to your hands after you wash them.

4.    When you shave
Dry skin can become irritated when you shave, because you’re also scraping off natural oils along with the hair. It’s recommended that you shave after you shower – the hairs are softer and pliable after your shower or bath making shaving easier.  Always use a shaving cream or gel and shave in the direction the hair is growing. This will protect your skin more and keep more of your natural oils on the surface.
A dull razor will only irritate your skin more so make sure your blade is sharp, and change your blades often.

5.    The sun and wind
Dry skin, wrinkles and rough skin have a villain and that’s the sun, another villain is the wind.  A broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen should be applied year round to prevent overexposure to the sun, and also help prevent wind damage to your skin. Another factor that can damage your skin is overheating and perspiring excessively and this can be reduced by dressing in layers in cooler weather.  Lips are also at risk of becoming dry and chapped, to avoid this use a lip balm with SPF 15 sunscreen and in cold weather cover your lips with a scarf or hat with a mask, especially on windy days.

6.    Change the air!
Heating your home removes the moisture in the air which can irritate and dry your skin. If you want to help your skin during these cold winter months, then use a humidifier in your home. If you can’t humidify the whole house then at least place one in your bedroom. Indoor humidity of around 50% will help your skin and your hair.

Following these handy tips will help you get through the cold winter months without damaging your skin because of over dryness and irritation.

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