The sun’s UV rays are the main culprit behind unhealthy skin. It is not, however, the only cause of those fine lines and other skin issues. Winter, with its cold temperature, dry air, harsh wind, and holiday eating and stresses, can also take its toll on the skin.
The harsh wind and dry air can suck the moisture out of your skin, resulting in an uneven complexion and skin creping. Add to that the mad dash to prepare for the holidays, coupled with a lack of sleep due to the ramped up schedule. Then lay on the less-than-healthy holiday baked goods or buffet tables at holiday parties, and your skin faces an uphill battle.
Fortunately, though, you’re not powerless in the face of winter wear-and-tear. Here are a few key things to keep in mind for improved skin this winter.
Beware of Humidity Drops
The skin loses its moisture due to decreased humidity. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor refers to water in its gaseous state. Water vapor is not visible to the naked eye. When there is less water vapor in the air, though, the skin can feel it. The moisture in the skin evaporates into the air, which is a lot drier than the skin. This is referred to as increased transepidermal water loss. In essence, the water in the surface of the skin is “sucked out” by the dry air around it.
The result of the loss of moisture is skin that is dry and prone to cracks. The skin then becomes irritable, itchy, and red. The condition can be exacerbated by contact with irritants, which include soaps, fragrances, and rough-textured clothes that are commonly worn during winter.
The best way to handle skin dryness is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Applying moisture right after a shower, when the skin is damp, will help seal in moisture and prevent the skin from drying out.
Not all moisturizers, however, are created equal. Use moisturizers that include natural oils that soothe the skin, such as olive oil, aloe vera, or coconut oil. Lotions and oils with humectants that promote moisture retention are also good choices. Avoid moisturizers with added fragrances, as they can irritate your skin, especially if it is already dry and cracked.
The holidays may push you to the limit, but be dogged about getting the requisite amount of sleep. Most things can wait until tomorrow, and you can tackle them more efficiently after getting adequate rest. Pare down your schedule as needed so you don’t sacrifice your own well- being.
Do not wait until your skin gets dry before doing something to protect it. Once you feel the humidity diving, get ready to start preserving our skin’s moisture. Rest up and stay hydrated. Prevention is a lot easier than fixing already-damaged skin.