Nov 11, 2008

Winter Season Care Your Skin

During the winter months, we need to pay even more attention to how we treat our skin, according to dermatologists.

While oily skin might not experience that much change from season to season, skin that's normal, dry or sensitive will usually need more moisturizing during the winter, Even when it's raining outside, heated indoor air is drying to the skin, and cold winds will have the same effect. Using a humidifier in the winter is a must. It’s great for the skin to have moisture in the air during the winter months. People with any skin type should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 year-round. We know that even on a cloudy day in winter, you're going to get significant amounts of ultraviolet exposure. "A lot of people say 'I'm not outdoors very much, I'm just going in and out of my car.' But a study looked at incidental sun exposure -- something that's not intentional -- and it's about 11 hours a week, which is a lot. So you still need to protect your skin." That goes double for people who participate in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, where they are exposed to more intense sunlight at higher elevations, coupled with wind and cold, for hours at a time.

While people who still insist on lying on the beach in the summer tend to be quite aware of how long their skin is exposed to the sun. winter sports enthusiasts may be out in the sun all day with little thought to its negative effects.

Dermatologist suggests that people who spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter use a sunscreen that's a little thicker than one they might use during the summer to ensure full coverage and hydration.

Skin-care problems like eczema, atopic dermatitis or keratotis pilaris (rough, dry areas on the cheeks or the backs of arms, more common in young children) can often flare up during the winter. Older people, whose skin loses its ability to retain moisture, can develop a condition called asteatotic eczema, which Jang says can be particularly debilitating. "If left untreated, it can get itchy and red and angry and start to really impact on a person's quality of life."

People with any of these problems need to be vigilant about using a non-sensitizing moisturizer. Curel, BurtsBees, or Lubriderm are all great products that can help your skin.

For basic skin care during the winter, you should cleanse your face twice a day, and choose a cream-based cleanser if your skin is dry or sensitive. It should leave your face feeling soft, rather than tight or dry.

At night, use a light moisturizer and during the day, a sunscreen or a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30.
"I would tend to use less abrasives, less exfoliants, less glycolic acids during the winter." Those products and creams containing retinol can be especially drying or irritating during the winter