Avoid the Painful Winter Chap and Keep Skin Hydrated
While some parts of the country are experiencing extreme cold, others are still in relatively balmy conditions. Either way, the skin may be feeling the effects of the chilly weather. It’s all relative to whatever climate your skin is accustomed to. Even slight drops in the temperature can cause the skin to feel dry and uncomfortable.
Slight shifts in your skin care routine can help prevent the winter chap, and keep the skin itch-free and well hydrated. Getting to the root cause can also help guide you in your skin care.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
There are many factors that cause dry skin – both intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external). This time of year however, chapped skin is likely caused by environment. The reason it is a primary contributor to dry skin is cold air is denser than warm air, leaving little room for water vapor. Thus dry air often leads to dryer skin.
While we can’t control the weather, we can eliminate certain other factors that can contribute to the dryness. One is the sun (also a top contributor to dry skin). Be sure to use a good sun block even during winter months.
Also limit or avoid alcohol-based and certain clay-based skin care products. And, though this is counterintuitive, do not under cleanse and over moisturize the skin. This only results in moisturizer sitting on the face, unable to penetrate the skin and causing more buildup.
REHYDRATING CHAPPED SKIN
So what can you do to avoid dry skin or heal chapped condition? You will follow the same method – cleanse, tone, exfoliate, rebuild, protect – but the ingredients will change slightly.
- Start with a more gentle cleanser with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and cleansing agents, like sodium chloride, that don’t strip away natural oils.
- Use a skin strengthening toner to keep skin nourished and hydrated.
- A couple days per week use a granular scrub to get rid of dead skin and provide a deeper cleanse.
- Each day, apply a non-greasy antioxidant and moisturizing formula to fight free radicals and hydrate. Look for ingredients like D2O, soybean protein, D-boldine, and L-glutathione and superoxide dismutase (powerful antioxidants).
- Always finish with a good physical block like zinc.
A few other things to avoid: overly hot water in the shower and when cleansing the face (as tempting as it may be), overexposure to the sun, extreme temperature fluctuations (going from extreme cold to a hot building), and too much alcohol or caffeine consumption.