The winter months often lead to dry, irritated and itchy skin, which appears cracked, unhealthy, and feels horrible. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Winter skincare isn’t complicated – it only requires some commitment on your part. By following these tips from Dr. Maya Kato of Maya Kato Aesthetic Art Facial Rejuvenation, you can expect to enjoy glowing skin all winter long.
Why Does Winter Dry the Skin?
One of the leading causes of irritated skin during the winter months is excessive dryness. The ambient air is partially to blame, but our behavior has a lot to do with it, too.
Colder temperatures mean the air holds less moisture – thus resulting in low humidity during the winter.
Low air humidity makes it easier for our skin to lose moisture due to the gradient between our skin and the environment. Because the air has little moisture, particularly inside where the air is warmer due to internal heating, it wants to absorb as much moisture as possible. As such, it sucks your skin dry.
Compounding this problem is the fact that during winter, many people are chronically dehydrated. Because we don’t sweat much in the winter, we feel less thirsty. Nonetheless, our bodies still require a minimum of one, ideally two, liters of water every day to function optimally.
When the air is draining skin of its moisture, and we are not adequately replenishing our water levels, the result is getting dry skin.
Yet another winter behavior that factors into excessively dry skin is hot showers and baths. While a hot soak can be just the thing we need after coming in from the cold, the high liquid temperatures open our skin pores – and yes, you guessed it – open skin pores release far more moisture than closed pores do.
One way of addressing dry winter skin is by considering a chemical peel. Chemical peels remove skin damaged during the summer sun and give you a new canvas to work with during winter.
The following tips also aim at helping you retain as much skin moisture as possible during the winter months.
Prepare Your Water Before Bed
Drinking enough water throughout the day is the first step toward making sure your body has the necessary amount of liquid to keep your skin moisturized, delicate, and smooth. For most people, two liters a day is optimal.
One handy trick is to place a full glass on your bedside table before going to sleep. The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is to down the whole glass – this gets your day off to a perfect start and fulfills one-quarter of your daily water intake. Simple!
Finish Your Showers With a Cold Blast
We know – this isn’t the most appealing of suggestions, particularly considering the outside temperatures. But hear us out.
Finishing your shower with cold water has multiple long-term health benefits, including boosting immune function and improving blood circulation. It also closes your skin pores.
After a cooling-off period, your skin will better retain its moisture once you get out of the shower and get on with your day.
This tip might seem obvious, but moisturizing can make the difference between healthy, smooth skin or scaly crocodile hands.
Your shower is an ideal time to use a moisturizing body scrub. Once you seal your pores with the cold blast, you’ll trap the moisture in your skin.
Applying moisturizer after the shower and periodically throughout the day, mainly to body parts like the lips, cheeks, and backs of your hands, further encourage your body to hold moisture and keep your skin silky smooth.
This last tip shouldn’t come as a surprise either. One other complication that winter brings is shorter days and less time spent outside – for many of us, this means a deficiency in vitamin D.
Vitamin D helps keep our skin healthy, our moods up, and our bodies functioning correctly. By eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as egg yolks, cheese, liver, and most fish, we can supplement our vitamin D. (Of course, vitamin D supplements also work well for vegans or people with dietary requirements).
We’ve all experienced dry winter skin. The good news is that we don’t need to put up with it. With these four simple tips, and perhaps a chemical peel, you can enjoy smooth, glowing skin throughout the winter without having to make any significant changes to your daily routine. To discuss winter skincare, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kato at 760-610-5558 or fill out her online form.