Winter is full of magic, especially around the holidays. Family gatherings, getting together with friends, and enjoying the special atmosphere that Christmas spirit tends to bring with it…what’s not to love? Oh, we know…the cold, frigid air! While the temperatures drop outside and the heat rises inside, there are a few things happening to your skin that you may not even notice until it’s too late. Winter is coming, so learn how to prepare your skin and protect yourself. Keep your skin looking and feeling great through your holiday party season.
What does winter do to my skin?
Seasonal shifts impact your skin. There is not much you can do to stop the weather from turning (aside from moving), but it is important to know why the transition from summer to fall to winter can be so hard on your skin. When the temperature makes a shift from warm to cold, the level of moisture in the air also falls. Your skin is no longer getting moisture from the air surrounding it, so it has to work overtime internally to reduce TEWL (transepidermal water loss). This water loss can lead to flaky, red, itchy, dehydrated skin. But the outside temperature change is not the only culprit of winter skin. When the temperature drops, the furnace kicks on. With the added heat indoors, the air becomes drier. This leads to the same types of problems the outdoor temps cause: Inflammation and dryness.
How can I prevent the harsh effects of winter?
During the winter months, try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot water. Although it feels good at the time, using scalding water further dries out the skin and can leave you itchy and blotchy. Instead, opt for short showers (5-10 minutes) with warm water. As soon as you are out of the shower, apply your serum, then your moisturizer.
Serums and moisturizers are vital in winter months, but often people ask why we need both? Serums treat your skin, while moisturizers protect it. Your skin needs both, especially in the cold Winter months when your skin is battling dry, cold air.
Serums are thinner in texture than moisturizers, so they are able to travel deeper into the epidermis. They treat your primary skin issue, whether that is sensitivity, pigmentation, aging or acne.
Moisturizers protect your skins’ barrier from the harsh outside climate. They provide either light weight oil control ingredients, or they are richer, full of ingredients to add emollients to your skin.
Talk with your esthetician about the best products to use in the winter. Your summer go-to’s may not be as effective in the colder months as your skin changes.
While you may be spending less time outside, it is just as important to protect yourself from sun damage as it is in the warmer months. Don’t leave the house without sun protection on both your face and lips. Your esthetician can recommend moisturizers with SPF of at least 30 to keep you protected while you’re running your daily errands. If you plan on enjoying winter activities, you will want a more purposeful sun protection. As far as your lips go, we’ve all experienced the dryness and chapped lips of winter. Keep your lip balm (also with SPF) on hand at all times, and reapply often. The skin on your lips is thinner than elsewhere, so to avoid cracks and flaking you will want to take extra care of them!
What should I do if I’m already experiencing skin issues?
If winter has already taken its toll on your skin, don’t give up. Instead, make sure you are following all of the preventative measures previously mentioned! Skin care products are usually created to last 4 – 6 months, which is perfect, because we often prescribe a little change up in summer vs winter to address that cooler air. Because the air is so dry (both indoors and out), try using a humidifier in your home. You can place it in your bedroom to run while you sleep, or set it up in the room you typically spend the most time in. By putting moisture back into the air, your skin doesn’t have to work as hard to produce moisture from within.
The best thing for you to do, particularly if your face is suffering from the dry, cold weather, is to book an appointment with a professional! Our estheticians are experts at examining skin damage and choosing the best treatments, products, and routines to solve your most bothersome issues. At Lake Life Day Spa, we offer a wide selection of facials to hydrate and replenish your skin. We would love to set up a consultation with you to get you back to your glowing self. If you’re wanting advice or to schedule one of our services, book an appointment with us online or give us a call at 250.804.4836!