News and Information

Winter Skin Care Tips

11-21-2013

As the seasons change, your skin care regimen should too. During winter months, the cool outdoor temperatures, harsh winds, indoor central heating systems, and extra long hot baths and showers all contribute to dry skin, also known as xerosis. The harsh winter elements not only irritate healthy skin but also aggravate certain pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema. Your skin needs moisture to stay smooth, supple, and healthy. Without adequate moisture, the skin becomes dry, roughened, cracked, tight, itchy, and uncomfortable. Furthermore, once the skin barrier is compromised, it is predisposed to secondary infection.

To keep your skin looking and feeling healthy this winter, please follow these simple tips:

  • Use lukewarm (rather than hot) water and gentle, fragrance-free cleansers to wash your face and body.
  • Limit your time in the bath or shower to five to 10 minutes.
  • Moisturize within three to five minutes of exiting the bath or shower while the skin is still damp.
  • Use oil-based or ceramide-containing creams or ointments (rather than water-based lotions) to moisturize your skin.
  • Soften your skin with shaving cream or gel prior to shaving and change razor blades frequently.
  • Avoid contact with products containing alcohol, such as hand sanitizers.
  • Apply lip balm containing petrolatum regularly, especially when outdoors and before going to bed.
  • Bundle up with your coat, gloves, and scarf when outdoors.
  • Use hypoallergenic, fragrance-free laundry detergents.
  • Do not use fabric softener/dryer sheets.
  • Wear gloves when you cut, peel, or press fruits and vegetables. If possible, wear washable cotton gloves beneath protective plastic or vinyl, (not rubber/latex) gloves.
  • Use a humidifier or add a humidifier to your home heating system.

Even though the warm sunshine is not as apparent during the winter season, damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays persist through the cooler, darker days of winter. You should wear sunscreen daily to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer and to prevent the early signs of skin aging.

  • Use a moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater.
  • Wear sun- and wind-protective gear when outdoors for extended periods of time.