With Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas jingles already floating through the air, we know that winter has nearly arrived and that time has come to perfect your winter skin care routine.
While winter in the Pacific Northwest doesn’t carry the brutally cold temperatures and heavy snowfall experienced by much of the Midwest and upper eastern seaboard, the cold, wet conditions we experience in Oregon offer their own persistent problems when it comes to protecting the health of your skin.
Even if the air outside hangs heavy with moisture, the dry air pumped out by heaters in our homes and offices can lead to the dry, flaky skin and chapped lips we all rather avoid. Fortunately, we can avoid most of the problems associated with a change of season with the right winter skin care routine. By making just a few changes to our daily routines, we can avoid the dry skin of winter all the way through till spring.
Step 1.) Change Your Showering Habits
Taking a hot shower on a cold winter’s morning makes a great way to start your day. Unfortunately, this makes one habit you’ll probably want to avoid until the weather begins to warm.
The sudden shock your body experiences stepping from your cold bathroom into a hot shower wreaks havoc on the health of your skin. So as unpleasant as it may sound, stick to “enjoying” lukewarm showers instead.
Step 2.) Stop with the Soap
Most brands of soaps not only eliminate germs they also dry out the skin. And that’s one of the last things you want happening when temperatures get low.
If you start to feel dried out or itchy, back off on the amount of soap you use in the shower. At the very least, try to use a brand that doesn’t lather much. You may also want to consider just using soap on the smellier parts of the body – underarms, feet, hair, etc. – and just rinse the rest with water.
Step 3.) Pull Back on the Acne Treatments
If you regularly use products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to fight acne, you may notice how your treatments feel a little harsher during the winter months.
It’s not uncommon for patients to experience a change in how products they’ve used for months affect their bodies once the calendar rolls around to holiday season. If you start to notice flakiness, try moderating your routine so that you apply acne treatments less often.
If your complexion demands consistent attention, try adding a gentle moisturizer to your routine to prevent unwanted dryness.
Step 4.) No Sun Doesn’t Mean No Sunscreen
Just because the sun goes into hiding behind those NW rainclouds doesn’t mean you should stop applying sunscreen on a daily basis.
No matter the time of year, the daily application of sunscreen offers the best option for preventing premature aging, and for keeping your skin looking and feeling its best.
Step 5.) Sleep with a Humidifier
If you wake up with dry mouth or, even worse, dry skin, you may need to start sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom.
Adding moisture to the air will help replenish the moisture your skin loses while you sleep. For a more old school approach, you can even place a heat-safe bowl on top of your radiator at night. As the water in the bowl evaporates, the air in your home will start to feel far more accommodating towards your skin.
Perfecting Your Winter Skin Care Routine
If you have any questions about the best practices for protecting the health of your skin this winter, make sure to ask any of our skin care specialists during your next visit to our dermatology clinic.
Whether you deal with dry, oily, or combination skin, our experts can provide the insights you need to look and feel your best.