“Your skin barrier keeps water inside of your body and when it's dry and cold, water evaporates off of the surface faster and easier,” as Dr. Agela Lamb, the director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice in New York City told Huffington Post. Dry skin not only becomes flaky but also the wrinkles and fine lines become more visible in winter. ugh.
Indoor heating is harsh for our skin, stripping it from the essential moisture. As it dries out, the barrier on our skin weakens, exposing it to the unmerciful cold, wind, and other elements in the air.
Additionally, flare-ups of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis tend to occur more frequently in winter as chemicals in shampoos, soaps, and other household items irritate our skin due to an already compromised skin barrier.
Here are our top tips to ease the effects of winter on our skins:
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Drinking water is the best option to fight dry skin and unwanted companions that come with it.
During festive winter months, most of us consume more caffeine and alcohol much more than usual. These diuretics enhance dehydration and should be consumed in moderation. In an interview with Vogue, dermatologist Shari Marchbein cautions, “Don’t overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, and coffee. Drink tons of water.”
2. Exfoliation, gently.
Skin sheds dead cells every 30 days or so. But sometimes those cells tend to linger more and need assistance to be removed. Exfoliating is the way to get rid of them, either with an exfoliation tool like a brush, a granular cosmetic product, or chemicals.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), exfoliation helps improve your moisturizer’s effect and make your skin feel better as it will penetrate the deeper levels of the skin. The process of removing dead cells to make room for the new ones are the go-to skin regimen for many all year round. However, as your skin is less hydrated and more sensitive in winter, choosing a milder alternative is the best idea. Even if you use a mild exfoliating product (maybe a DIY one) as dermatologists recommend for winter, you must follow with moisturizer.
Many dermatologists recommend warm showers instead of hot showers and keeping it to the max. of 10 minutes. Hot water is known to strip the skin from its natural oils.
As your skin is already sensitive in winter. You can keep irritants at bay with a shower filter which helps reduce dry, flakey skin. KDF shower filters like KLEAN essentially eliminate the heavy metals like iron, limescale, hydrogen sulfate, and chlorine. The media inside the shower filter attaches itself to the damaging elements and deactivate them.
For extra caution, listen to Dr. Melda Isaac, the founder of MI Skin Dermatology Center in Washington DC, who says, “If you do indulge in a hot shower or bath, keep your bathroom door closed if possible, and after you dry, moisturize.”
Skin is your largest organ, and it is vital to look after it like you are looking after other organs in our body. Your skin must be nurtured through the nutrients in your food.
Consuming seasonal produce, taking supplements recommended by your physician is a good step. Also, exercise is especially useful as it supports your mental health and acts as a mood booster in darker winter days.
Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. UVA and UVB rays are always present, which means even during gloomy winter days too.