While the onset of winter can often elicit pleasant images of family dinners, holiday parties, Christmas shopping, and ice skating at the public rink, it’s also important to remember that the cold weather and dry air can wreak havoc on your winter skin. As the temperature drops, our blood vessels constrict, which reduces the flow of blood to the surface of the skin. This can leave our skin susceptible to moisture loss as our skin cells fight the drying effects of the cold, windy winter months, meaning that winter skin care is more important than ever.
Having a “Winter Skin Care Survival Plan” ready for action when the weather starts to turn is a great way to be prepared. Most people know that the impending weather calls for many preventative measures—getting a flu shot, adding insulation to the house, putting anti-freeze in the car—but most people forget to consider the immediate threats that winter weather poses to their health. It’s not enough to simply buy a new hat and scarf; you need to take care of your skin.
Protect, Prevent, Preserve Your Skin in Winter
It’s not just the cold weather outside that’s at war with your winter skin; every time you bump up the thermostat in your home, you’re adding more moisture-reducing air into your living environment. This can have a negative effect on your skin’s capacity to remain hydrated in the winter months.
If you can stand it, try not to rely too much on turning the heat up in winter. It’s much better to grab a sweater or pull on some warm woolen socks. And if you’ve thought previously about buying a humidifier, you might want to go ahead and take the plunge this winter: using a humidifier is a great and simple way to improve the moisture levels in your home.
And though it’s always a pleasant notion to take the chill off by indulging in a long, hot shower, you probably shouldn’t make a habit of it. Remember, hot showers strip away oils which are essential for moisture retention; you don’t want to lose any more than you have to. It’s much better for your winter skin to take lukewarm showers, and to use a mild, exfoliating body wash or a moisturizing bar soap. Beware of some of the harsher body washes, for they, too, can remove essential oils from the skin.
And remember, always moisturize immediately after every shower, and give your skin ample time to soak in the replenishing ingredients. You might want to look at purchasing a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, as well, for hyaluronic acid (found in our skin) has the capacity to bind water molecules and increase retention. And before bedtime, take the time to attend to the “problem areas” that typically get drier in winter: knees, elbows, thighs, feet, hands. Apply liberal amounts of lotion on these tricky areas before turning out the lights.
Should I Use Sunblock in Winter? Yep!
As soon as the summer beach season is over, people have a natural tendency to put the sunblock on the shelf and forget about using it during the rest of the year. The reduced amount of sunlight available in the winter months lulls people into believing that they are invulnerable to the effects of UV rays and sun exposure.
But the fact is, the winter sun can be just as capable of causing sun-damaged skin and dark spots as summer sun. For skiers, ice skaters, people shoveling their walks, or anyone spending any extended time outside in the winter, using sunblock is essential for helping to prevent the harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer. It’s important to remember that even on overcast days—even in winter– ultra-violet rays from the sun can still attack exposed skin. And don’t forget to use a good lip balm that protects against UV rays, too.
Skin Care Maintenance at Your Friendly Neighborhood Houston Spa
One positive thing about the winter season is that you’ll probably have some extra time to do a little “R and R” for your skin and general health. After the holidays, most Americans’ social activity slows down considerably, which means you’ll have the opportunity to take care of many things that you’ve been neglecting throughout the year. And if cleaning out your closets doesn’t sound like a fun use of your leisure time you might want to think about booking an appointment at your local spa.
It’s the perfect time to do some pro-active skin-care maintenance, including treatments for sun-damaged skin, procedures to reduce dark spots and signs of aging, chemical peels and laser treatments that remove blemishes and acne scars. It’s a great time to catch up on the latest, cutting-edge treatments and procedures, including new ways to reverse sun damage to your skin and new ways to increase collagen production. Estheticians also have the latest line of skin-care products for your home, and it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist in the winter months for any skin tests or graphs that you’ve perhaps forgotten about.
And let’s be frank—it’s not exactly a chore to visit your local spa on a cold, blustery day. It feels nice to be pampered in a friendly, relaxed environment while making sure to take care of the necessary skin-repair procedures that you’ve been too busy to take care of during the previous months of the year.
Winter Skin Care Facials – The Cure for Winter Blues!
To recap, here are some great ideas to use in order to protect your skin from the harsh winter:
- Reduce heat usage in the home to avoid being exposed to more dry air
- Avoid long, hot showers
- Invest in a humidifier
- Moisturize after every shower, or at least once a day
- Use sunscreen every day (even during winter!)
- Indulge in replenishing facials at Bare Necessities Spa in Houston!
There are many challenges to proper skin care during the winter, to be sure, but with a few winter skin care tips and some pro-active measures to keep yourself protected, it doesn’t have to be a miserable time. By using a simple “Winter Skin Care Survival Guide” and having some indulgent, necessary visits to your local spa, you’ll discover that it will be spring before you know it. Check out Bare Necessities’ winter facial services and book your appointment online today!