The cold winter air can be blamed for dry skin, but those winter months can also cause other skin problems. As dermatologists in Fort Collins, we see the effects Colorado winters can have on skin. The combination of the cold air outside and dry heat inside will steal moisture from your skin leaving you feeling raw, dry, and itchy at the least. Knowing how to care for your skin with winter skin care tips will help you minimize the skin problems and maintain healthier, glowing skin even in freezing temperatures.
Common Winter Skin Problems
The harsh change in temperature and weather during the winter months can cause a number of skin problems for both men and women alike. Some of the most common winter skin problems are the following:
- Flaky skin
- Flare-ups of conditions such as acne or psoriasis
- UV damage
- Chapped lips
Winter Skin Care Tips
Winter skin problems can be caused by more than just the exposure to the cold air outdoors and the moisture-deprived heat indoors. Skin problems can also come from not taking care of your skin properly. During the winter months, you may need to change up your skin care routine in order to keep your skin soft and radiant.
Some of the best things you can do for healthy winter skin include:
1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
One of the most common, big mistakes people make with their skin care during the winter months is not moisturizing enough. You will likely need a stronger moisturizer during colder temperatures than during warmer months. You can also benefit from applying moisturizer more frequently and at certain key times.
Directly after your shower or bath is one of the best times to apply a hydrating moisturizer on your face and body. Leaving your skin slightly damp and then applying a quality lotion will also help to trap moisture into the skin.
Apply moisturizer on your hands just as often as you wash them in order to help keep your hands from over-drying.
2. Use Sunscreen Daily, Regardless of the Season
Sunscreen, as you may already know, is one of the most important aspects of a healthy skin care regimen. The suns UV rays can wreak havoc on your skin regardless of the temperature and even if it’s cloudy or gloomy. Protecting your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater is one of the most important things you can to do take care of your skin.
3. Use a Humidifier to Help Add Moisture to Your Home
The continual cycle of dry heat pumping through your house from the furnace is one of the primary culprits for dry, itchy skin over the winter. You can combat this by either investing in a humidifier for your HVAC system or simply using a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in. A humidifier will increase the moisture in the space, keeping your skin hydrated and supple.
4. Turn Down Your Thermostat
Although low temperatures outside may tempt you to turn up the heat inside, think about putting on a warm sweatshirt or wrapping yourself in cozy blanket instead. Turning the thermostat up means more heat blasting through your vents and even drier air. Setting your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees can make more of a difference than you think in keeping your skin from becoming too dry.
5. Take a Quicker Shower and Turn Down the Water Temperature
Long, hot showers are one of the best ways to warm yourself up on especially cold winter days, but it is also one of the best ways to strip your skin of the natural oils that are necessary for it to stay soft and normal. Spending too much time in a hot steamy shower can do more damage than you think.
6. Adopt a Seasonal Skin Cleansing Routine
Different seasons of the year can cause different problems for your skin. An effective way to handle the varying effects of the seasons is to switch up your facial cleanser. During the winter, you want to buy gentle cleansers that won’t strip away more moisture than necessary. Look for a hydrating gentle cleanser that can add some moisture while cleansing. Avoid cleansers with salicylic acid when possible and opt for one that is fragrance-free as both can worsen dry, itchy skin.
7. Don’t Forget ChapStick
Your lips are not exempt from the harsh effects of winter, so make sure to apply a moisturizing ChapStick or lip balm frequently throughout the day. This will keep your lips from becoming chapped, dry, or cracked.
8. Drink Lots of Water
One of the most overlooked, simple skin care tips is remembering to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will add moisture to your skin from the inside out and help give you that healthy glowing skin you’re hoping to keep this winter. Drinking at least 8 glasses each day can make more of a difference than you think.
At Front Range Dermatology Associates, we offer the best skin care services in Northern Colorado. Call us today at 970-673-1155 to schedule an appointment at either our Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, or Fort Morgan offices.