Today's Fighting Ring: You vs. Sandpaper Winter Skin

It’s that time of the year again, where we start to bundle up in cozy sweaters, fuzzy scarfs, and clunky boots and of course Pumpkin Spice Latte (or any other latte if you’re not a fan of PSL). Once again we wake up in cold mornings getting ready to leave for class and the moment we look in the mirror we realize we’re back to our peeling onion skin that’s rough as a crocodile. I usually take a moisturizer with me to classes because I know one application would not suffice, my skin keeps getting chapped and with all of the dried skin peels it looks like I haven't washed my face in the morning. But even with a moisturizer, my skin still feels extremely dehydrated and water alone won’t fix it up. You might be facing the same crisis and are probably wondering why does this happen to so many of us and why is it most common in colder seasons.

Cold weather = Less humidity = Dry skin

The heading basically sums this up. With the cold weather, the temperature drops, causing the moisture to fall out as dew. This creates a very dry air in our surrounding, since our skin wants to create an equilibrium balance in moisture with the environment, it will lose its moisture to the environment through osmosis which will leave us with a really patchy dried-up skin.

Horror of Hot showers

I have never met anyone in my life who did not enjoy that gratifying moment where they step into a really hot shower after walking around in a storm on campus for the entire day. It’s really and “Ahhh” moment for everyone. So here’s the bad news: hot showers can dry up your skin even more than they already are. A hot shower, as pleasing as it may be, can further strip your skin of any remaining moisture it has. What can we look forward to now after a very long cold day?

Hot Indoors

You’re probably wondering that nothing can be as bad as not taking hot showers, sorry to spoil your mood but hot indoor environment is even worse for your skin’s moisture. A hot shower will (hopefully) end quickly, but whenever you’re not outside in the cold weather, you will most likely be inside in a heated surrounding. This creates a dry air which once again rids your skin of its moisture factors which will create more dry skin.

Say goodbye to cute wool sweaters

You may have just bought a really cute wool sweater, well I hope you kept the receipt because if you have dry skin not only on your face but on your body, wool will be your number one enemy. Although the material can be very insulated and cozy, yet sometimes a bit scratchy, it irritates your skin because of its rough textile. Your skin is most likely already irritated due to the weather, but now your clothing are adding to the irritation, therefore, creating an irritated dried up skin. You might want to also stay away from nylon and polyester, even though they may not have a very rough textile like wool, they are unbreathable materials which will not allow your skin to basically breathe! Your skin need clothing where it allows air to go through in order to prevent your skin from sweating and getting further irritated.

 

Now you’re probably wondering what you CAN do, considering the fact I just told you all the things you liked about winter are bad for you. There is always a remedy, you do not need to live in a cold home just to retain your fabulous moisturized skin! The following tips can give you a broad idea of what you might consider doing this cold season to keep your skin clear and smooth.

1. Moisturizer + Sunscreen

This one is probably the most straight forward tip. Definitely use a good moisturizer, try to also use sunscreen in winter because you can actually get sunburns in winter! The snow reflects sun rays and UV radiation which can both harm your skin. The two moisturizer I personally love are Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer with SPF 30 and Shiseido Benefiance Day Emulsion SPF 15. You should buy a separate sunscreen since many of these moisturizers have a very low SPF, the sunscreen that I use which is not that pricey for a university student is Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF60.

 

2. Bring out your fluffy mittens

The skin on your hands are actually much more sensitive and thinner than elsewhere on your body. Many people don’t take care of their hands in cold dry weathers and end up with a really dried up and bleeding skin. This can lead to winter itch where it is caused by dry air and is mostly common in the elderly. To prevent all of this, keep a good moisturizer in your bag at all times and try to wear gloves or mittens when outside to decrease the amount of contact with the dry windy air. Stay away from fancy smelling moisturizers, trust me they don’t work that well, instead go for brands like Eucerin, Vaseline, and Nivea.

 

3. Humidifier is your best friend

Personally I think humidifiers are underrated. They can be so useful especially in cold dry conditions during winter. You have the option of using Warm or Cool Humidifiers, but in my opinion you should go for a cool humidifier. If you would like to heat up your home it will be completely okay as long as you use a humidifier to keep your skin moisturized and fresh. The one major problem with a warm humidifier is that if the water is not cleaned out often, it can create suitable conditions for bacterial growth, which can cause you to breathe in this infected air causing you to get sick. This won’t be a big issue with a cool humidifier although you would still need to clean out the water every few days.

 

4. Shorter Showers

It might seem like a horrible idea to skip having a really hot shower after a very long day, but if you want to maintain a healthy skin in this upcoming season make sure you shower right. You should take shorter shower no longer than 15 minutes, and try to use a lukewarm water instead of hot water in order to reduce the amount of moisture getting stripped away from your skin. Stay away from alcohol-based products because they will most likely further dry up your skin. After your shower, use an oil-based moisturizer or lotion for your body before you skin completely dried up.

I wish you good luck in the upcoming tormenting Canadian winter, and hope we all maintain our summer glowing skin in winter! Please let this be the year we all don’t end up with sandpaper skin.

 

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/dry-skin-13/winter-dry-skin

http://www.vaseline.ca/en/skin-health-care/skin-care-tips.html?gclid=Cjw...

http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/page4.htm

https://www.quora.com/Why-does-skin-get-dry-in-winters