Cold weather is just around the corner and that means a change in more than just the landscape. Cooler weather means saying goodbye to shorts and sandals and hello to sweaters and coats. It means opting for hot soups and drinks over fruity, summer salads and frosty beverages. As we’re changing our clothes and diet for the season, we should also take time to re-evaluate our skin care routines. We are sharing our favorite winter skin tips with you.
Indoor heating and drier fall and winter weather can cause dramatic changes in our skin. At the same time, we still have to be cautious of UV exposure.
Following these six tips can help you look and feel great as you make the seasonal switch.
Winter Skin Tips #1 All Hands on Deck!
When considering our skin care needs, it is easy to overlook our hands. Drier skin might prompt us to use lotion, but sometimes lotion isn’t enough to fully protect hands.
According to Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, professor and vice chairman in the department of dermatology at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, “Hands often can reveal a person’s true age.” Glaser cautions that as school starts, busy parents who spend a lot of time driving kids around should be aware that ultraviolet A (UVA) rays can pass through car windows and cause sun damage to hands.[i]
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends selecting a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher with broad spectrum coverage that is also water resistant (with back-to-school you’ll be washing hands more frequently). We recommend keeping a tube of Sunright SPF 50 in your car so you can apply it as needed to stay protected while on the go.
Fall is also a great time for those last-minute gardening duties or outdoor sports like golf. Wearing gloves and remembering the sunscreen are important while engaging in these activities as well. Not spending time outdoors? Keep some extra hand lotion close by to fend off irritating, dry, flaky skin.
Winter Skin Tips #2
You’ve heard this one before: six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, right? But according to familydoctor.org, water consumption isn’t one size fits all. Depending on you, your diet, and your activity level, you may require more or less water each day. Rather than worrying about sticking to a prescribed amount of water, try incorporating these tips to avoid parched skin and dehydration.
- Drink on a schedule.
- Try starting and ending the day by drinking a glass of water.
- Drink water with your lunch and dinner.
- Set a reminder to drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
You can also eat to hydrate. According to an article at health.com, about 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from foods we eat. Cucumbers, celery, radishes, baby carrots, green bell peppers, spinach, cauliflower, grapes, pears, and cranberries are all at least 81 percent water by weight. Plus, the extra nutrition provided by these thirst-quenching fruits and veggies certainly won’t hurt either.
Winter Skin Tips #3
There is nothing quite as soothing as a hot shower or bath, right?
Well, not exactly.
As the air in our homes (and consequently, our skin) dries out, hot showers can actually irritate skin further. The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting bath or shower time and using warm water instead of hot to avoid losing the oils that are typically stripped from the skin in a long, hot bath or shower. After a gentle pat dry (no need to scrub the skin you just cleaned) make sure to moisturize while skin is still slightly damp. For dry skin, we recommend applying some Perennial Intense Body Moisturizer or Epoch Baobab Body Butter or extra soothing power, try covering skin with a warm, damp towel for five minutes. “The heat activates the lotion’s ingredients, which keeps skin supple,” says New Orleans dermatologist Mary P. Lupo, M.D., professor of clinical dermatology at Tulane University.[ii]
Winter Skin Tips #4 Lip Service
One of the first telltale signs of changing weather is dry, chapped, cracked, or peeling lips. Lips are particularly vulnerable because the skin of the lips is much thinner than other skin, consisting of three to five cellular layers instead of up to 16 layers on the rest of the face.[iii] Additionally, lips have very little melanin, the pigment that colors the skin and helps protect against sun damage.
“Most people are getting better at applying sunscreen to the body, but they’re not as good at protecting their lips,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. [iv]
“Men and women should apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher year-round to protect their lips from sun damage,” says Margaret E. Parsons, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Davis.[v] And a good lip balm can help shield against the effects of changed weather as well. We recommend carrying your Sunright Lip Balm 15 with you and reapplying liberally throughout the day.
Additional insight: Studies have shown that males are 3-13 times more likely to develop lip cancers, [vi]so men should definitely treat themselves to a little TLC (tender lip care).
Winter Skin Tips #5 Humidify to Combat Dry
“When the air is colder and drier, skin can’t hold onto as much moisture as it can with warm air,” explains Park Avenue dermatologist Neal Schultz. “You need to supplement [moisture] because when it gets dry enough, the moisture on our skin evaporates into the air.”[vii]
When skin is too dry, it can appear sallow, making wrinkles more prominent. Dryness can also lead to flaking, cracking, and irritating itchiness. Consider adding a warm air humidifier to your room and run it while you sleep. In addition to a number of health benefits, the added moisture can combat the skin-drying effects of heating systems in cooler months.
Riley Greene, M.D., of the Denver Skin Clinic says that for itchiness due to dry skin, a humidifier can do more than just relieve symptoms—it can prevent them. He advises turning on humidifiers when you begin using the heating system in your home. “Using forced-air heating in your house can decrease the humidity level to 10 percent. The skin needs humidity levels of at least 30 to 40 percent to stay healthy.”[viii]
Winter Skin Tips #6 Get in Touch with Your (Cooler) Self
You know best which changes you’ll need to make to your skin care regimen as the seasons change. Think about your past experiences and be prepared for inevitable changes that are unique to you.
Do your face and body tend to get much drier as the weather cools? Get armed and ready with a more gentle cleanser and a richer facial cream. Consider changing from a body wash designed to rid the skin of excess summer sweat and oils to one that helps retain moisture like Nu Skin’s Liquid Body Bar. You may want to consider switching your facial cleanser as well. For drier skin, we recommend giving ageLOC Gentle Cleanse and Tone a try. Are you used to exfoliating a lot in the summer to maintain your “glow”? You don’t have to stop exfoliation altogether, but consider less frequency or a more gentle formula.
Yet another possibility is to add new products during the cooler months. Help facial skin retain moisture with a moisturizing mask (we like Creamy Hydrating Mask). And even if you skimp in the summer, now is a great time to reintroduce your night cream.