Aging Well
Beauty & Style

Tips to Protect Your Skin During Winter

During winter, temperatures drop and dry air takes away the thin layer of oil that protects and moisturizes the skin. This can often cause itchy and painful skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and excessively dry skin. Chapped lips, itchy elbows, and dry hands are also common problems. Here are some tips that can help prevent excessivly dry skin:

•    Keep your showers short: Long showers have a tendency to dehydrate the skin and take the moisture out of it. This is mainly because hot water removes the natural oils of the skin more rapidly than warm or cold water. Since it is difficult to take a bath with cold water during winter, your best strategy is to keep your baths and showers short and avoid steamy hot water. It is also recommended that after a bath, you should not rub your skin too much but instead it pat it dry.

•    Use mild soaps: During winter, it is best to stick to mild, unscented or lightly scented soaps.It is also advisable to use mild laundry detergents since the regular ones may leave residue on your clothes that could irritate your skin.

•    Moisturize your skin regularly: Using moisturizer on your skin regularly is a great way to soothe or prevent chapped skin. There is no need to go overboard with the type of moisturizer you use. Anything works including mineral oils, petroleum jelly, moisturizing lotions – anything that can help your skin retain its moisture. Use it immediately after you take a shower so that you don’t lose more of your body’s natural moisture. Some people who have oily skin think that they do not need moisturizer but the fact is that in winter, even they should use one. For those with oily skin, it’s best to use non-comedogenic products that do not clog your pores.

•    Dress comfortably: If you have extra sensitive skin and if you are aware that your skin flares up in winter, try to wear soft, breathable fabrics. Avoid wool clothing and polyester. Wear loose clothes so that your skin is not chafed and is not irritated because of perspiration.

•    Relieve your stress: Winter also increases the level of stress in some people. This can often trigger psoriasis and eczema. You can relieve stress by exercising, meditation, yoga and other measures that help you relax.

•    Tips when shaving: Often men get dry skin when they shave since shaving can leave the skin extra irritated. It is recommended that you use a lubricant such as a shaving cream. Change your blades frequently and always shave in the direction the hair grows.

•    Use sunscreen generously: Exposure to the sun can cause your skin to go dry. Even if the winter days are cloudy or overcast, take preventive action and use sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 and with both UVA and UVB protection.

•    Protect chapped lips: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends not licking your lips quickly as this can cause your lips to chap. The consistent drying and wetting can do that. Also, on very cold and especially windy days, lips should be covered with a scarf to keep them moist. Sun exposure can irritate chapped lips and make them worse. Therefore it is best to use a lip balm regularly during winters.


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