Skin care during winter: how to prepare the skin for winter
The effect of seasonal weather changes, especially during the winter months, can take a significant toll on your skin. Facial skin ravaged by exposure to the elements can show symptoms of dry, flaking, itchy, and even painful, scaly patches. Taking a proactive approach to caring for your skin during these months will help you avoid the worst impact winter can have on your skin.
First and foremost, your best winter skincare defense is protection.
Even during the winter months, it is absolutely necessary that you continue to apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen when outdoors. Although you might think that the effects of the sun lessen during the winter months, nothing could be further from the truth. The sun’s reflection off snow and ice can be particularly damaging. Wearing a scarf that can be easily pulled up to protect the cheeks and lower face is also a useful preventative measure to limit skin exposure to the elements.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, dry skin benefits greatly from exfoliation to help remove flaky skin cells, to smooth the skin’s surface, and to promote cell rejuvenation. Whether you choose to use a chemical exfoliant like an AHA product like glycolic acid or a mechanical means like a facial scrub, incorporating an exfoliating medium into your routine at least a few times a week can dramatically improve dry skin. And for God’s sake, don’t use any kind of astringent or soap. They will only dry out the skin more. Instead, try using a super rich cleanser like one with a soy or oat ingredient to give your skin a conditioning treatment while you cleanse.
It is also essential to maintain the skin’s moisture content during the winter months.
Skin is usually well hydrated after a warm shower or steam facial. Immediately seal in moisture with an emollient-rich skin cream. Moisturizers keep skin conditioned while offering protection against the harsh effects of the cold. The drier the skin becomes, the more frequently a moisturizer should be applied.
To treat any of those very dry, scaly patches that might develop, use a petroleum-based product on the affected areas before bed. Strange as it may seem, Regular petroleum jelly works wonders on dry, cracked, and flaking skin. Unfortunately, most people cringe at the thought of using Vaseline on their face, thinking that it will clog pores and generally have a negative effect on their skin. In a word, fake! Vaseline and similar petroleum-based products provide a protective and insulating barrier for the skin on those frigid, windy days when applied as a light coating to the face and lips.
Finally, for those irritating patches of skin that persistently plague you despite your best efforts, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment has significant healing effects on sore, cracked skin. For extremely dry, scaly, and itchy spots, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can relieve itching and decrease symptoms of dryness and flaking.
Please note that if your condition persists, it is best to consult with a doctor to find the best remedy for your particular skin condition.