It’s that time of the year when everything is bitterly cold! While for some, the season is all about winter sports or maybe staying indoors with a good cup of hot chocolate or even dressing up fashionably with layers and layers of clothes, others see this like a plague. With the dryness and chill of the climate comes the eventual stripping off of moisture from the skin.
Here’s the harsh reality: Winter can severely damage the skin especially if you do not switch to a weather-appropriate regimen and stubbornly stick to what you have been doing all year round! The cold can make your skin itch. It can dry you and cause all forms of irritation. The winter season can leave you with nowhere else to run. While the gusty chill outside can make your skin feel raw, the heater inside your home can rob moisture off the air and off your skin. You might also think that a good hot shower is ideal to restore natural oils to your skin. If that is the case, you need to think again. It does the contrary! It dries the skin by depriving it of its moisture.
Let us list down some skin problems that you are prone to having this winter, below. Bear in mind that awareness is the first step away from being a victim of it. We have also rounded up solutions that we think are a great aid in maintaining a healthy skin!
Not only is the arid, cold air the culprit why your skin is dry during winter. The drop in humidity makes the water everywhere, even the skin, evaporate at a faster rate. Due to this, the skin is left feeling tight, rigid, and flaky. Some of us might have anticipated this and bought huge pump bottles of cream or lotion. Did you notice that no matter how much we smear lotion from these containers to our skin, our skin feels dry almost immediately? This is because products like these are mostly diluted in alcohol or water. Due to this, their ability to lock moisture to the skin is reduced. It would be better to purchase lotions and moisturizers that are stored in tubes or jars.
Moisturize yourself more, not only on the outside but also on the inside! In addition to using your trusted moisturizer, you have to eat food that can nourish and replenish your body moisture. Cucumbers and watermelons are great! You can also eat more avocados and oysters.
The CleaRx Rejuvenating Moisturizer is the best in the market to help you against dryness. It is formulated with natural herbs, plants, and marine extracts such as Fucus Vesiculosus, Hamamelis Virginiana, and Panax ginseng root extract. It’s very ideal to use during seasons like this. Apply a heavier amount so you would not have to worry from severe drought on your skin.
- Flaky Skin
Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, exposure to the cold is undeniably imminent. Prolonged dryness can escalate to more severe problems of the skin that can eventually lead to skin cracks and flakes. The skin becomes impaired when the skin’s natural lipid barrier breaks down because of its inability to access enough moisture. Due to this, the upper layers of the skin become dehydrated and start physically breaking or flaking. Sometimes, we tend to further aggravate the situation by frequent washing using harsh soaps.
When bathing, it is best to avoid soap bars because most of them contain high PH levels. They can further irritate the outer layer of your skin, worse, cause inflammation. You can also start using an exfoliating wash once a week to rub off the damaged, top layer of the skin and initiate restoration. The CleaRx Exfoliating Cleanser has fine beads that can draw out, not only dead skin cells, but also toxins from your body, leaving you without the itch, and instead, with a refreshed sensation.
When skin moisture hits a certain low-point level, flare-ups happen. What we want to prevent are facial flare-ups that are not only a sore to the eyes, but also too uncomfortable to handle. Simple flare-ups caused by lack of skin moisture can even progress to appalling cases of psoriasis and eczema. These are the things we want to stay away from in the best way that we could. This particular type of breakout can also happen when we switch from one skincare product to another or if we are exposed to new elements. Cold weather is a known contributor.
In worse cases that these flare-ups have advanced to eczema and psoriasis, immediate consultation to your dermatologist is suggested. Your doctor can prescribe your steroid creams or calcineurin inhibitors. Treatment can even go as far as Phototherapy or ultraviolet light therapy which can hopefully be avoided as much as possible as it can cause skin cancer.
However, if your flare-ups are on their initial stages, just a gentle and constant use of cleanser and moisturizer is preferred. Remember that you are highly encouraged to use products from the same brand or line to avoid the marginal difference in PH and other formulation. Great thing CleaRx has both items: the CleaRx Exfoliating Cleanser and the CleaRx Rejuvenating Moisturizer.
Again, keep your baths short and use lukewarm water instead of hot. Do not rub your skin after showers and baths, and instead pat around to dry yourself.
- Ultraviolet Damage
UVA or Ultraviolet A are long waves of harmful rays that are able to reach the earth regardless of the condition. This means that not only are we prone to exposure during summer, but we are also at risk even winter. UVA rays are so strong that they can penetrate deep in our skin, pass the epidermis and straight to the dermis. Because of this, it can cause severe effects. UVA can also pass through glasses and fabrics that is why we have to be extra careful even if it's winter.
The detrimental effects of UVA also vary depending on the skin color. Dark-skinned people should not rest easy. Not because their skin is more pigmented that they have a lesser risk of exposure. Although individuals with olive-toned complexion can stay longer under the sun, they are still prone to rashes, acne, and dry patches triggered by UVA. People with fair complexion should practice caution most since they are more prone to UV damage because of their lack of skin pigment. They have lesser natural protection from the sun and can absorb harmful rays better than any skin tone.
People with freckles should also note that they are called to be more vigilant. Freckles are indicators that your body has attempted to protect and shield itself from past UV damage.
Just like the previous skin problems stated above, the use of moisturizer to your face and neck is highly suggested. If used daily, it decreases the chances of irritation. It also helps even out your complexion. Moisturizers are only a layer of defense. Most importantly, you should also use a strong sunscreen with high SPF levels. Please note that SPF or Sun Protection Factor does not indicate the strength of protection but the length it can protect the skin from UVB Rays. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s UVA Rays that we should be more careful of, UVB Rays can cause physical burns. Combined with UVA, it becomes a recipe for cancer. It is better if you can purchase a sunscreen that specifies that has “broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection”. This means that it does not only protect you from one particular type of ray, but everything there is that can damage your skin.
Now that you are aware of the different skin problems that can plague you during this cold season, the next thing we need to advance to is how to protect ourselves from it. It would also help to know how we can soften the impact of this cruel weather to our health, most especially to our skin.
Aside from using moisturizers and not rubbing the skin when drying which we have relentlessly repeated on the discussion above, here are some more tips to maintain a healthy winter skin:
- Lower your thermostat!
To maintain a healthy, but warm skin, set your thermostat at 68°F to 72°F. Anything in excess can dry your house and most definitely your skin. At this temperature, you have a cool, yet comfortable heat that is still ideal for your body.
- Purchase a Humidifier
A humidifier will add moisture to the dryness brought about by the chilly air. Purchase a humidifier and enjoy the mist that it can bring. Place it strategically to the room you spend most of your time in and run in the whole day to ensure that you are hydrated.
- Wear Comfortable, Non-Irritating Clothes
Wool can provide the most warmth during winter. However, its roughness can dry and irritate the skin. When you are dressing up for winter, it is wise to begin layering with a soft, light, and breathable layer. This kind of fabric should be the only one in contact with your skin. The heavier sweaters can be placed on top of it. Without the initial fabric, your dry skin can be aggravated and be itchier as time passes. If you will be wearing a glove, wear a cotton one first and then a wool glove on top.
- Stay Hydrated by Eating Right
Maintain hydrated from the inside by eating food rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. If you are having problems identifying which food has those components, you can purchase supplements from your local health store. These vitamins prevent inflammation and cause your insides to work properly. Eat more fish and flaxseed.
You can also include nuts in your diet since they are rich with Vitamin E. This type of vitamin protects the skin from external damages brought about by UV. They also help the skin against oxidative cell damage.
- Change Clothes Immediately When You Get Wet
While you are out and about, chances of getting wet on a winter day are imminent. If this happens, change to dry clothes immediately! Remove the wet clothes (even your gloves) as it can cause itchiness and irritation. You wouldn’t want to have those in winter!
Just like in any other season, winter has factors that can harm your skin. The good news is, you do not need to sulk just because of this fact. There are many products on the market that can help you protect your skin. Furthermore, simple measures such as avoiding direct exposure to snow and even wearing your trusty CleaRx products can prevent your skin from any form of discomfort.