Cold weather is the bane of my skins existence. As soon as the weather drops below 50*F/ 10*C my flesh suffers. Last month, practically the moment my plane touched down in New York my cuticles split and my nose started peeling. Wildly attractive, I know. But before you go judging me, don’t act like I am alone. You have all suffered from the attack of winter skin. The redness, the peeling, the chapped, eww…. It’s enough to make, well, my skin crawl! Do not fear! I have collected some sage advice on how to get your skin through these low mercury levels.
–Moisturizer with SPF: Just because you aren’t lying out at the beach doesn’t mean your skin doesn’t need protected from the pesky UVA/ UVB rays. This is especially true if there is snow on the ground. The snow will reflect the light back into your face increasing exposure. By using a moisturizer with a minimum SPF15 your skin is protected from harmful rays that can cause photo aging, lines or worse!
–Treat Your Hands: Your skin on your hands is perhaps the most susceptible to the problems associated with the cold weather. They are constantly exposed to the elements, especially when dexterity and small motor functions are essential. Hands (and in my case cuticles!) end up chapped and red. However, there is a way to avoid some of the damage caused by the weather conditions. First, when you are out and about wear gloves, wool ones can cause irritation, so consider cotton or (if you’re feeling luxurious) cashmere. Also, remember to use hand lotion before bed. My favorite is Aveda Hand Relief.
–Use A Humidifier: As soon as you turn on the heat (be it central or individual units) the air in your home and/or office begins to dry out. This can leave your skin cracked; scratchy and just plain dry! A humidifier can solve this problem by adding moisture into the air. I know, dry air makes your frizzy hair behave! So consider using the humidifier while asleep, when a perfectly styled coif isn’t completely necessary.
–Cool down your Shower or Bath: I LOVE a steaming hot shower. The kind of shower that is hot enough to scald your skin. However, it may not be the best thing for my skin! When water is hotter than your skin temperature your pores open up and release the moisture stored in them (this is the same reason we sweat in the summer). As a result, our skin loses moisture needed to protect itself in the cold weather. The key is to take slightly cooler showers, shorter shower and to apply a moisturizer after a shower. Ideally, use products that seal in moisture.
–Don’t Lick Your Lips: No, it isn’t your addiction to lip balm that is making your lips chap. Along with the wind, it’s the acid in your saliva that leave your lips dehydrated. Instead of smacking and/or licking your lips after applying balm (which leaves saliva on the lips) allow them to dry naturally. Also, be careful not to by balms with menthol in them as it also has a drying effect. Just like the rest of your skin, protecting your lips in winter is important to remember.