The harsh cold climate and dry air during winter can disrupt the skin’s barrier. Low humidity is common in colder climates stealing moisture from skin meaning dry, itchy skin, especially for those who deal with conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Here are a few winter skin and hair care tips suggested by an expert dermatologist to combat cold weather and have good skin throughout the year.
Keep the moisture you have: The natural oils produced by your skin, help protect it. Avoid long baths and showers, and use warm, not hot water. After bathing pat dry your skin and moisturize your damp skin.
Switch your cleanser. It’s a good idea to change your body wash if your usual choice contains drying ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid.
Look for: Cleansing products that say “gentle” and “moisturizing” which are ideal for winter. Avoid alcohol bases, as these can dry your skin.
Moisturize your skin thoroughly. Switch to an oil-based moisturizing cream during winter.
For Face: Creams. hyaluronic acid is popular. This absorbs water 1,000 times its weight. Jojoba oil and lactic acid are other good hydrating ingredients.
For Body: Prefer Ointments and creams, as thicker formulations typically pack more moisture. Hyaluronic acid works as well for the body as it does for face. Other ingredients include glycerine, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, and shea butter.
Add moisture to your home. Use a humidifier, to counter the drying effects of indoor heat. Your skin absorbs moisture present in the air.
Add moisture from the inside out. Don’t forget to drink an adequate amount of water, which will help hydrate your skin.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. You should be wearing sunscreen year-round. Winters, don’t mean the sun is affecting your skin. Look for Sunscreens that are cream based instead of lotions or sprays, as they are more moisturizing, or use moisturizer as a base.
Rejuvenating products: Minimize the use of products containing anti-aging ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or retinol in winter, as they have a drying effect. You can use them less often like on alternate days or short contact periods, or at a lower concentration.
Your feet need special care during winter as it becomes dry and cracked.
Moisturize your feet immediately after bathing. Use cream or ointment that contains 10-25% urea, and glycolic acid and apply it to your heels.
Before bed, apply plain petroleum jelly. Consider wearing cotton socks at night to avoid getting grease on your bedding as it helps in locking moisture.
Winter makes your hair electrically charged due to increased friction, as there is less moisture in air. This can lead to further damage and breakage. Thus, use a sulfate-free, fragrance-free moisturizing shampoo, a conditioner, and a leave-on conditioner, or a hair mousse that helps you a great deal by reducing hair static.
Take extra care. If you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, winter makes it worse. Be sure to avoid any irritants or allergens that you know flare your condition and Consult your Dermatologist for more information.
Author: Dr. Archana SA