Complements Embrace the Colder Months with Great Skincare
Welcoming the harsh winter weather can be daunting, but now is a great time to erase the skin damage that the summer has left behind and prepare for the coldest months ahead. We all know that cold and dry air causes our skin to dehydrate, but there are a few tried and true ways to achieve good skincare during the winter months.
If you’re like most of us, winter’s brisk air leads to dry, itchy, irritated, flaky, and cracked skin, and not just on our faces, but on our knuckles and hands, too.
If you already limit your outdoor time during the winter, know that indoor heating also zaps our skin’s moisture. A good tip is to use a humidifier in your home to put some moisture back in the air. You can also moisturize your hands directly after washing, or choose a thicker, more hydrating cleanser to wash with.
Next, exfoliate your face and neck. It is important to exfoliate your skin two to three times per week. When we exfoliate, we are sloughing off old, dead skin cells and it sends a message to the skin to produce more collagen and bring out new skin cells. It also allows products we are using to penetrate deeper and do its job, rather than sit on the surface of our skin. Your skin will look bright and fresh after exfoliating.
If you’re new to exfoliation, or if you aren’t confident in your technique, many professional cosmetic offices offer exfoliation through the use of light chemical peels and microdermabrasion. These treatments will smooth and refine your skin and allow for maximum moisture absorption.
Now that you’ve exfoliated, moisturizing is so very important. Moisturize day and night and don’t be afraid to switch to a moisturizer that is richer and creamier to deliver intense hydration. For individuals with dry and normal skin, I recommend a moisturizer with humectants, which help the skin retain moisture. Look for products that contain shea butter, squalene, and sodium hyaluroante. If you have oily skin, it’s still vital to moisturize. Use an oil-free moisturizer that does not contain mineral oil, as it will clog your pores.
Avoiding the outdoors in the harshest weather isn’t always possible, and if you’re prepared, there’s no reason you need to coop up inside all winter long. Before heading outside into the cold air, ensure your skin is properly moisturized, like we discussed above. Also, wear proper winter clothing – hats, neck warmers/scarves, gloves, and sunglasses for bright winter sun. A good tip for your hands is to apply a thick balm, then cover your hands with a glove liner and then a glove. The added layers offer more protection and will trap the moisture in your hands.
Also, don’t forget your lips! A good lip balm containing SPF to prevent damage is essential. And when temperatures drop very low, avoid long stays outside as this could lead to frostbite or hypothermia, which could become a medical emergency.
My last tip is this: Hands down, the biggest misconception about skincare this time of year is that you don’t need to apply SPF in the winter. That is false! SPF is not just for sunny, summer months. The reality is that UV rays are present all year, and harmful rays reflect off the snow. This just accelerates the aging process. In higher elevations, it is believed that the presence of UV rays actually increases and time spent outside enjoying sports like skiing raise the risk of skin damage due to sun exposure. Apply at least an SPF 30 and reapply every two hours when outside to protect your skin.
If you’re interested in learning more tips from professionals who deal with skincare every day, I encourage you to give us a call at 814.231.7878 or visit us online at cosmetic.mountnittany.org. At Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, we offer facials, consultations, and advanced aesthetic treatments and products. Our goal is to work with you to devise a program that can help repair damage, protect against environmental factors, and rejuvenate your skin.
Lashelle Kuhlman, licensed aesthetician, has worked with Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery since October 2014. With a passion for skincare and the beauty industry, Lashelle finds it rewarding to work with people to make them feel good about themselves. She holds a Bachelor of Science from The Pennsylvania College of Technology and a diploma from Altoona Beauty School. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.