Winterizing Your Skin

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body and accounts for 12%-15% of your total body weight? Hence, winterizing your skin is essential!

Winterizing Your Skin

Aside from providing a warm and vibrant glow which is physically appealing, your skin performs a multitude of important functions.  It provides your body protection from outside diseases and plays an important role in your body’s immune system.

Your skin is a very complex body organ and it is important to take good care of it.  Winter weather can be very harsh on our skin.  During cold weather, many people experience skin irritation commonly termed “winter itch”.  This is caused by the skin becoming severely dry and flaky. The skin can even crack and bleed.

Here are some tips on how to protect and help maintain healthy, vibrant skin throughout the cold winter weather:

  • Use sunscreens when outside. Snow and ice reflect UV rays back to your skin and can actually increase by up to 30% the amounts of harmful UV rays your skin is exposed to.  Participating in winter recreational activities without applying sunscreen can result in severe burns, even though the sun may not feel hot.  If you plan to take a trip South to escape the cold weather, be sure to use sunscreens.
  • Use a deep penetrating moisturizer to protect your face from the drying effects of winter wind and central heating.
  • Use a humidifier. Cold winter air and central heating pull all the moisture out of the air and out of your skin.  Humidifiers for your bedroom, living room our office may help add more moisture to the air.  A low-cost alternative is to place plants around the home and office or just place a pan of water on top of radiators.
  • Hydrate from the inside out. Hydrate your skin with good nutrition.  Aside from getting in your recommended 8 glasses of water a day, incorporate green tea into your diet.  It is a very strong antioxidant which can help your skin.  Another excellent antioxidant is vitamin C, contained in fresh orange juice or grapefruit.
  • Use a lip balm to prevent and heal chapped lips.

In Addition

  • Apply body lotions within 3 minutes of getting out of the tube of shower. This helps to enhance your skin moisturization and minimize drying. You may want to use creams rather than lotions which might not be moisturizing enough in the cold winter months.
  • Keep hands well moisturized and wear gloves when outdoors. Apply hand lotion immediately after washing and drying.
  • Take fewer baths or showers. High water temperature and frequent baths strip natural oils from skin making it itchy and irritable. Limit your baths to once a day and use lukewarm water instead of hot.
  • Use a soft cotton washcloth or your hand to cleanse your skin, not rough sponges or buff puffs.
  • Using mild soap (Dove sensitive skin, Cetaphil liquid wash, Purpose, Olay for sensitive skin, Oilatum). No Irish Spring, Ivory, Zest, or soaps with fragrance.

And Don’t Forget About

  • Soap is drying. Avoid soaking dry skin areas; consider just soaking areas more likely to sweat (underarms, groin).
  • Pat dry rather than rubbing.
  • Apply moisturizing cream in the direction the hair grows (apply from the body center outward).
  • Avoid perfumes, colognes, aftershave, or scented deodorant.
  • Use unscented laundry detergent.
  • Avoid fabric softeners.
  • Also, avoid scented wipes or pre-made cleansing cloths.

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