WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Although we haven’t really been in a cold snap to start off 2019, the colder winter months can really take a toll on your skin.
You might notice that your skin might need a little more moisture now-a-days and lacks a bit of luster. Cooler and drier air reduce the moisture in the air and our skin is first to notice.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and we wear it on the outside of our body. So, it’s essential that we take care of that organ that’s taking on the elements in the outside world.
“When its hot out the air holds a lot of humidity and your skin doesn’t dry out because of all the humidity in the air, but when you cool down the air that air doesn’t have the capacity to hold moisture so its holding a lot less moisture it’s a lot drier, and so we dry out.”- Dr. Jonathan Crane, Atlantic Dermatology.
Some of the things you can do to protect your skin this winter are:
- Reducing the duration and temperature of your bath or shower: Taking long hot showers can actually strip the body of its natural oils that keep your skin hydrated. These oils lock in moisture on our skin and create a barrier of protection. So when you go and take a shower and you soap all over you’re breaking down that barrier and you’re rinsing it down the drain so you have less oils after you step out of the shower.
- Moisturize within three minutes after the shower: After we bathe and strip the oils from our skin it’s important to moisturize right when you hop out of the shower. You’ll want to use cream or oil skin care products because that’s what will seal in the moisture on your skin as opposed to lotions.
- Avoid water-based products and alcohol active ingredients: If your skin care product is a water based product it won’t create a barrier on your skin and won’t keep it hydrated. The water and alcohol in the product will evaporate right off your skin and can actually dry out your skin even more.
- Look for “fragrance free” products as opposed to “odor free”: If you do have very sensitive skin then you’re gonna want to see that there’s no fragrances in the product. “Odor free” product could still have a fragrance in it along with another fragrance in it that is masking the other. You won’t notice anything but it will still have fragrance in it. “Fragrance free” would be a good buzz word.
- Use sunscreen everyday: Many people are under the assumption that the sun won’t damage their skin during the winter months. Ultraviolet B rays are weaker during the winter months, so you won’t get as burned easily however, Ultraviolet A rays are just as strong and those cause wrinkles, premature aging and damage. Sunscreen is crucial, and its crucial all year round. Dermatologists see so many people with skin cancers which are often so preventable. When you look at a sunscreen it should have an SPF factor which shows how well its working against UVB rays. You also want to see that it protects against UVA an UVB protection. Your sunscreen should also be water resistant for 80 minutes so you know that’s its hanging on to you. Also look at the active ingredients, look for zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Those ingredients block the sun by basically putting a barrier over your skin and help blocking the ultraviolet A rays in addition to the ultraviolet B rays.