Winter Classic : Ice Cold and Dry Skin
Does your skin feel dry, parched, irritated or taut to the touch? Do you notice flakes on the inside of your socks when you get undressed at night? Does the skin on the side of your cheeks pull when you get out of the shower? Interestingly enough, it’s when winter is halfway through that our skin seems to be the driest. How can you help your skin beat the cold and remain properly hydrated and comfortable? Winter is a reminder to better care for ourselves.
How does the weather affect us? First, the cold air and wind are aggressions to our skin. Skin is impermeable but still afflicted by cold and does not offer much natural resistance to it. The first step should be to establish a physical barrier to protect the exposed skin with clothing: wear gloves, a scarf, a head band, etc. Dressing up warmly is also prevention for arthritis. People who constantly expose their joints (like those of us who almost never wear mittens or gloves) expose themselves to a greater risk of suffering from arthritis. Keep those articulations warm and protected.
Back to your body’s envelope. Consider changing your usual facial moisturizer. Although oil-free and water-based formulas are ideal for the warm months because they feel lighter, they can contribute to drying the skin in the colder months. The water that remains in the epidermis, when exposed to freezing weather, will freeze; drying your skin and possibly damaging minor capillaries (causing rosacea). Select a glycerin-rich moisturizer with, ideally, a hint of oil such as soy, olive, avocado, almond, jojoba or even mineral oil. Shea, cocoa or coconut extracts are also excellent fat compounds and protectants. Dry skin lacks lipids. The oil will help restore the natural lipidic barrier, locking in the moisture in the epidermis and acting as a barrier to prevent skin from drying. The eye contour also tends to dry faster due to the absence of sebaceous glands in that area. (Sebum provides a minimal natural protection as a natural oil). Adding an eye contour moisturizer to your skin care regimen gets even more important in winter (and with age!), especially because dryness increases the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Prepare your skin for long exposure (over 30 minutes) to the cold or wind with appropriate ingredients. The sun reflection on the snow exposes our skin to possible UV damage. Using skin care products with an SPF is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Any outdoor activity should be preceded by applying proper protection. You may benefit from the appropriate protection of Marcelle Climatik SPF 30, which was specifically formulated to protect against drying and dehydration caused by the elements (wind, cold, sun, pollution) and to adapt to temperature variations.
If chapped lips are a sign of dryness, so is flaky or itchy skin. Very hot water disturbs the lipidic barrier as well and dries the skin. Although a warm bath will feel cozy while you relax in it, your epidermis doesn’t appreciate it. A thorough exfoliation twice weekly will help eliminate dry skin cells on the surface and activate micro-circulation. With healthier skin cells on the surface, moisturizers are absorbed better and faster into the skin. Exfoliate your face, legs, arms and buttocks at least twice a week for noticeable skin texture improvement. In addition, take a few minutes to apply a good body moisturizer on the daily. It works best if applied on damp skin straight out of the bath or shower. If you find yourself scratching more often or with more intensity, moisturize more frequently. Keep a small tube or jar of hand cream in your purse and apply a minimum of three times every day. Giving your hands a little more care than usual will also fortify your nails. They also dry, become brittle and often break easily in winter dryness. Rub them with a drop of almond or olive oil while you are sitting in front of the TV... or waiting in front of the microwave for your Magic Bag. Oh, am I the only one abusing it these days?
We beat the cold in our cars, offices and homes by cranking up the thermostat, the furnace or by putting wood in the fireplace. It results in warm, dry air and herein lies the problem. It may keep us warm but unfortunately, it also sucks the moisture right out of our skin and yes, even our lungs! Using a humidifier at home will not only help you sleep better, breathe more easily, prevent sore throats and nasal congestion; it will also prevent your skin from drying. Added bonus: it will also reduce static electricity! Your hair thanks you in advance.
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