Almost everything about winter is extra hard on skin, especially in places like our home state of Colorado. Winter weather is dry and cold, sucking the moisture from skin. Redness is common for many patients as are increases in size and severity of breakouts. Those who are most affected by the change in weather are typically those with skin that’s naturally dry and older people whose skin has lost some of its production of the natural oils which protect it from harsh conditions. There are many solutions to winter skin issues, and finding out what works best for each individual is impossible without some trial and error. However, there are a few tips and tricks which can benefit most people having mild skin issues this winter. This week, we’re outlining some of the worst winter skin conditions and how to combat them to keep your skin healthy and hydrated throughout the holidays.
Dryness, Dehydration, and Chapping
One of the most common issues facing faces in winter weather is also the most obvious. Most people complain of dry, chapped lips at some point during winter. This can be even worse for those who have dry skin regularly because the cheeks, nose, and outer corners of the eyes can all start to feel tight and painful as well. The best way to combat dry skin throughout the winter is to first check your products. Buy unscented lotions specifically made for those with naturally dry skin. These will have the extra oils necessary to rehydrate your face. Also, know that washing and exfoliating your face too often can actually contribute to the dryness you experience. As the natural oils in skin get washed away, it will produce extra oils to compensate. In many cases, this can lead to breakouts or other skin issues. Use a gentle face wash designed for dry skin as these are less likely to strip away the body’s natural oils.
Red Noses aren’t just for Rudolph
Bright cheeks may be a common occurrence when you come in from the cold, but red, irritated noses are much more painful than Rudolph would have us believe. Winter winds and stuffy sinuses are the dynamic duo of irritation. To soothe an irritated nose, try applying petroleum jelly or a thick, cream based facial lotion. In a pinch, you can use an unscented, non-mentholated lip balm on the affected area as well. A thick coating will help protect your nose from the damage associated with the constant nose blowing of sniffle season. Also, using aloe-infused tissues can help keep you from looking like Santa’s go-to reindeer!
An oft-forgotten part of skin, the scalp suffers quite a bit during the winter months. Excessive rubbing from hats can cause irritation, as can excessive product buildup if you’re someone who doesn’t wash their hair as often during winter. Cold weather can also irritate the scalp just as much as it does the rest of the skin. If you’re noticing excessive hair loss or severe irritation, you should see a dermatologist. However, if you suffer from mild dandruff, try turning to an exfoliant, a shampoo with zero alcohol, and lots of coconut oil. Exfoliating your scalp once every two weeks (or once per week for bad cases) can help slough off old skin cells to make room for new, healthy ones. Zero-alcohol shampoo will be far more effective at keeping the scalp moisturized, so check the ingredients list. Finally, applying a deep conditioning mask of coconut oil all over your hair and scalp once per week for five minutes before washing in the shower. It can help condition your hair while soothing your irritated skin.
Excess Oil and Break Outs
Dry skin seems to be the norm during winter; however, people with oily skin are also prone to excess oil production which can lead to breakouts when the weather changes. If you’re a person with consistently oily skin during the winter, you are probably washing your face too harshly and too often. As mentioned previously, skin will overproduce oil when too much of its natural oil is washed away. It may take some time, but using a cream based moisturizer every morning and night after a light face wash should help heal your skin.
Hopefully these tips can help heal your skin ailments this holiday season! If you’ve tried our tips and you’re suffering from serious issues, call the offices of Dr. Broadway for a consultation and we’ll work to find a regimen which works for your skin.