7 Winter Skin Tips
Our derm, Dr. Lisa Kellett, was recently on The Marilyn Denis Show in Toronto for a winter skincare segment. You can watch the full clip here. One of the best tried-and-tested tips she mentioned was, at night after showering and before going to bed, apply Vaseline on the heels of the feet and wrap each foot with Saran wrap, then put on a pair of cotton socks. In the morning, your cracked heels will be baby smooth. Other key takeaways included:
1. Protect Your Skin Year Round
People assume they are safe from the sun during the winter, but the sun can be very harmful in the winter. Snow and ice can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays, amplifying their harsh effects. If you are walking, skiing, or even driving, the most important winter advice is to use sunscreen daily as UV damage not only causes skin cancer and photo damage, it also accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Clear spray sunscreens are ideal for people who tend to break out, and cream works for people with drier skin types. Always choose an SPF of 30 or higher.
2. Keep your Skin Moist
To prevent winter dryness, make sure you layer moisturizer over your sunscreen and pay particular attention to the vulnerable areas around the eyes and lips. Use a lip balm with SPF which can also be used around the eyes. Men should be diligent about applying ample moisturizer, especially after shaving to avoid flaking and redness.
3. Take a Shorter Shower
After a long day in the cold, you may be tempted to take a long, hot shower or bath. Yet, it can strip the skin of its natural lipid layer, which is where natural oils are produced. The oil is an essential part of your skin’s defense against environmental factors, such as extreme cold and freezing.
Try a short, tepid shower, which is much less harmful to the skin. Use very gentle cleansers if you have sensitive skin or if your skin reacts to the winter weather.
4. Switch up your Routine
Since the lipids in our skin need extra replenishment during the wintertime, adding more oil in the form of a richer, heavier moisturizer will help counteract winter’s drying effects. If you use a lotion (oil in a water emulsion), you may want to switch to a cream (water in an oil emulsion) during the frosty months for added moisture retention.
5. There’s Something in the Air
Forced-air furnaces in our homes and workplaces strip the skin of essential oils and nutrients that are more easily maintained in the warmer months. Using a humidifier in the winter can be helpful to soothe itchy skin.
6. Take Your Vitamins
Due to shorter sunlight hours, and less sun exposure, the body goes into a natural winter slowdown of vitamin D production. Taking daily supplements of vitamin D during the winter months is a powerful antioxidant and a major contributor in the skin’s growth process, and it has also shown effectiveness in taming itchy, flaky skin.
7. The Skin 1-2 Combination
To keep skin radiant and smooth in winter, exfoliation and hydration are essential. After cleansing and exfoliating, lightly towel off without completely drying your face and then apply your moisturizer. Doing this when your skin is still damp helps to lock in moisture.
Stay skin-savvy this winter!