As the so-called “artic vortex” descends on much of the country, many health conscious Americans are wondering how they can preserve the health, appearance, and color of their skin. Just because the days are shorter and colder does not mean you must abandon the quest to have glowing, vibrant skin. Here are 6 tips to help you avoid flaking, cracking and simultaneously feel better and more comfortable, in spite of Old Man Winter.
1. Use more moisturizer.
During the winter months, in general, humidity levels decline. The cold, wind, and low humidity can combine to crack and dry out skin. Use an oil-based moisturizer (as opposed to a water-based one) to help your skin retain moisture. Make sure that you choose oils that won’t clog your pores. Almond, primrose, and avocado oil, for instance, can be safe bets, depending on your needs and skin history. Vegetable shortening and shea butter, on the other hand, can clog pores.
2. Watch out for those UV rays!
You probably don’t need a dermatologist to remind you that you need to protect your skin from sun rays during the blisteringly hot summer months, especially if you frequently visit places like the beach. But the sun’s UV rays can still cause serious damage to the skin, even if you’re bundled up in a parka. Potential problem areas include the face, hands and head (especially if you have a thinning head of hair) and the tops of the ears. If you plan to spend much time outside — shoveling snow, skiing or doing a polar bear swim — use appropriate sun protection.
3. Wear dry, comfortable, appropriately tight Clothing.
When you’re young, and you run outside for a snowball fight with your neighbors from the block, you might not notice (or care) about wearing soggy gloves and a damp hat for hours. But wet, clammy skin – particularly skin that’s chilled by sleet, ice or wind – can suffer damage and lead to flaking, sores, discoloration, and other uncomfortable problems.
4. Get appropriate Hydration… but don’t worry about trying to “Hydrate” your way to Healthier Skin.
When it comes to thirst, perhaps the best advice is the simplest: listen to your body. If you are thirsty, drink. If you are not thirsty, don’t drink. Obviously, the annals of medical literature contain bizarre cases of people being unable to regulate their thirst appropriately and suffering health issues as a result. But science strongly suggests that most people can self-regulate their thirst just fine. Drinking 8 – 12 glasses of water a day will not solve issues of dry skin, unless you are legitimately severely dehydrated and constantly thirsty.
5. Pay attention to your hands and face — areas where the Skin is thinner and there are fewer glands that produce oils.
Due to their innate biology, the skin and the face are more prone to weather-induced skin damage. Use a good moisturizer on your hands, and invest in comfortable wool or cotton gloves to keep your hands warm, nimble and dry.
6. Concerned about a blemish or problem area? Get a professional opinion.
Whether you’ve developed a mysterious rash or a break out of eczema on your arms and elbows, consider getting in touch with the team here at Mountain View Dermatology today for a free consultation. Call us now at (303) 444-3152 to preserve your skin’s health and vitality.
This is a guest post by the boulder dermatology office of Mountain View Dermatology – A company offering a wide variety of skin care services including varicose vein removal.