It is cold season and we want to keep our skin hydrated for the entire winter season, while at the same treating our acne.
When the temperature drops, our skin gets drier. The difference in temperature between the cold outdoors and dry, and the warm indoors can cause evaporation of the natural moisture of our skin. This environment can cause some patches on the oily and dry skin.
The skin responds differently during the winter for various persons. Many of us experience our skin becoming dry, peels off, and more sensitive.
If your skin is dry
Optimize your moisturizing. This means that if you are using a lightweight lotion during the summer period, change to a heavier ointment or lotion. Choose something that you can scoop from a jar or squeeze from a tube. Pump solutions are usually diluted with water or alcohol. They minimize the ability of the skin to seal in moisture.
Apply after each shower, or after washing your face and when your skin is still damp. Use lukewarm water, but not hot as this can irritate the skin. Your shower time should be short and use gentle, fragrance-free cleanser or soap. Avoid using washcloth. Use soap on your underarms and groin. You do not have to lather up and scrub your whole body as this will only remove the natural oil off your skin.
If your skin is sensitive
It easily gets inflamed during harsh colder months. It can cause raw, red cheeks in pale skin complexion, and long lasting hyper pigmentation spots in darker skin. To keep your skin looking and feeling soft and smooth, get skin care products that are without colors and fragrances, including your detergents and fabric softeners. You may want to try this soap-free and non-foaming Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion. It will not remove the natural oils of your skin. But for those with very dry and sensitive skin, just wiping off cleanser with a soft cloth or tissue instead of rinsing with water.
If your skin is greasy or oily
This does not mean that your skin is safe during these colder months. Keep applying your skin care routine. If you are using astringent or toner on your face to keep away the oil away, you may not need these added treatments during the winter time. However, if you are not using moisturizer during summer, we recommend starting applying it when the humidity and temperature drop. We suggest skin products manufactured by CeraVe or Cetaphil to keep your face and body moisturized after bath.
If you have combination skin
You may observe that there are areas in your body that become dry during winter. Some spots are oily, and they may need to treat separately. Skin professionals recommend applying a light moisturizer to the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) while heavier to drier areas such as cheeks and around the eyes and lips. You may need to get an ointment (like petroleum jelly) that can help seal moisture in and build a protective barrier against the harsh elements. If you feel too greasy to apply during the day, then you may try it at night.
If you have a breakout-prone skin
You may want to treat your acne, however, it may dry out your skin. We suggest moisturizing while treating your acne. Choose gentle, non-foaming cleansing and lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer. These products will not clog your pores.
If you are using a retinoid product for acne, this may be irritating during winter period. Try mixing a pea-size amount with your facial moisturizer, instead of applying it straight to your face. If you feel it is harsh, apply it for just two to three times a week only until spring. You will notice that you will have smooth skin without drying it.
If you have psoriasis or eczema
These two skin problems escalate during winter period when it is difficult to keep your skin moist. Get your showers short and lukewarm. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing with a towel. Apply moisturizer right away.
You may be able to treat flare ups with an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. Or, you may want to consult your dermatologist if you need a stronger formula.
Keep your stress levels low and get a flu shot. Skin professionals explain that stress and flu are associated to immune factor. Also, lack of sunlight during cold months can make psoriasis worse. When this condition is severe, phototherapy with UV light for two to three times a week may help. Consult with a dermatologist.
If you have a dark or olive-toned skin
You will need more protection from the sun if there are more pigment in your skin. However, this may put you at high risk for scarring due to skin irritations like acne and dry patches. This condition is known as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” according to Dr. Gary Goldenberg, MD, an assistant professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. This skin condition can last for several months or even more for people with dark skin.
There are over-the-counter bleaching creams available that can help remove those large, distinct spots fast. But you can prevent this by moisturizing daily with a thick creamy lotion. This will reduce irritation and will help keep your skin smooth and even.
If you have a fair skin
Individuals with fair skin have less pigment. They also have less natural protection against the sun. They should wear sunscreen during summer, but it is also needed during winter period. For those with fair skin type, apply moisturizer with built-in sunscreen all year round.
If you have a freckled skin
You will get more freckles when you continue to expose yourself to sunlight without sunscreen. But you may notice that freckles may fade during winter and your skin may look darker during summer.
Continue to apply SPF creams or lotion all year round.
If your face is flaky
Harsh elements like wind burn, sunburn, and even extreme dryness cause the skin to crack and flake off even if you are applying your moisturizer everyday and regularly.
To help you treat that damaged top layer of your skin, try using an exfoliating face wash with citric acid. Chemical exfoliants may be less irritating than those rough, scratchy beads or grains. If the skin remains dry during winter, exfoliate once or twice every week.
If you are 50 years old and older
There is high chances of getting dry skin as you get older. Dermatologists explain that sebaceous glands that make oil slow down and shrink after middle age.
If you are experiencing eczema or extreme dry skin for the first time, as you get older, change to a gentler facial cleanser and body wash. Also apply creamier moisturizer from your head to toe after the shower or after washing your face. Use anti-aging products that have skin tightening retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids for at least two to three times every week. Make sure that you do not overlapping your skin care products such as a cleanser and a cream with these ingredients.
If your children’s skin get dry
The skin of the children, including babies, is prone to winter dryness and eczema. But these skin conditions may fade as they grow up. They tend to scratch at their itchy skin which will just worsen the skin irritation.
You can prevent winter itch and flakiness by patting the children with a towel and applying on moisturizer right after their bath. Do not allow them to play in the water for a prolonged time. Use as little soap as needed. The glands that make body odor, where the bacteria thrive, become active only when they reach puberty. Therefore, children do not need plenty of soap or scrubbing to get them clean.