Effects of Winter Weather on the Skin by Facial Lounge

Wondering why your skin decided to freak out on your right before your big Holiday party? There may be more factors than you think that can cause skin changes during the Winter season. Read below for what effects cooler weather can have on the skin as well as several helpful tips to counteract these effects!

Lower Humidity Levels and Heaters

As the temperatures drop humidity levels decrease. The drier the air is the more moisture will evaporate from your skin. Heaters also play a role in lowering the moisture in the air. Whether you are driving in your car, working in the office or sitting at home with the heater on your skin is losing significantly more moisture than normal because of the decrease in humidity. This can lead to dryness, cracking, flaking, irritation, itching, tightness, redness and a dull complexion. For those with eczema or other dryness issues these symptoms can be even worse.

Extra Hot Showers and Baths

Nothing feels better than sinking into that boiling bubble bath after rushing in from the cold outside. The extra hot temperatures of Winter baths and showers can actually dissolve the protective and moisturizing oils on your skin. 

Rapid Change in Temperature

Within a day we go in and out of buildings countless times. In Winter especially this can mean going from a toasty warm room to frigid temperatures outside. “Unfortunately, this process causes the capillaries in the face to contract and expand rapidly leading to broken veins and skin redness,” says dermatologist Dr Ariel Haus.

Cozy Comfort Eating

We’re all guilty of it….indulging in that warm latter or cup of hot cocoa and how can you justify drinking that beautiful beverage without a warm pastry to go alongside it?? Colder weather has most of us craving comfort foods. Unfortunately, they aren’t as good for our complexion as they our for our emotional satisfaction. Foods high in carbs, oils and sugars can increase oil production and lead to more breakouts. For those with acne-prone skin this is especially true!

How to Reduce or Eliminate these Effects

  1. Shower, wash, bathe in warm water
    1. As much as possible, use warm rather than steaming hot water when washing; especially when cleaning the face. This prevents the stripping of natural protective and hydrating oils.
  2. Moisturize immediately
    1. Try to apply moisturizer to the face and body as soon as possible after a shower or bath. This allows for optimal absorption while your pores are still opened. Keep moisturizer next to the sink and apply after washing and drying hands to prevent over drying from frequent washing.
  3. Choose your moisturizer carefully
    1. Many moisturizers can actually dry your skin! Petroleum-based products actually create a seal over the skin so that moisture cannot escape. This barrier, however, also prevents moisturizing ingredients from being absorbed into the skin. Look for natural products as much as possible and always read ingredient labels! For more info on ingredients to avoid read our article: 17 Ingredients to Avoid
  4. Try to keep the thermostat as low as possible
    1. The warmer the temperatures inside the faster moisture will be sucked from your skin. Try to keep the heater as low as possible and instead try wearing a jacket or warm socks while in the house. Furthermore, the less dramatic the temperature difference is between your home and the outside weather the less shocked your skin will be as you move from indoors to outdoors.
  5. Humidify
    1. Try running a humidifier in your home and even your office to put moisture back in the air and lessen the amount of water that is evaporated from your skin.
  6. Drink extra water
    1. While quality moisturizers are crucial, hydrating from within is also a critical component in maintaining hydration during the winter months. Without realizing it, many of us drink less water during Winter months simply because we want something warm rather than cold water. Try drinking ambient water or simply heating some water with lemon and honey!
  7. Sunscreen
    1. Yes, you can still get sunburned even when it is cloudy! UV rays are still able to penetrate through clouds and damage skin. Look for a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide-based sunscreens. We recommend Coola.
  8. Warm clothes
    1. Try to bring gloves, scarves and hats to help eliminate the shock that comes when switching from heated indoors to the cold outdoor temperatures. This helps prevent spider veins and excessive redness.
  9. Eliminate harsh chemicals
    1. As dry skin becomes tight, cracked and red harsh chemicals can be extremely irritating. Try to avoid as many harsh chemicals as possible and opt for more natural-based products.
  10. Exfoliate
    1. Dead skin cells can easily build up causing clogged pores AND preventing moisturizers from completely absorbing in the skin. Get an exfoliating mask for the face and exfoliating body washes or gloves for use on your body in the shower. Apply your moisturizer immediately after exfoliating to see the most difference in smoothness and hydration.
  11. Moisturize overnight
    1. Don’t be afraid to use a thicker moisturizer at night especially on areas like hands, feet, elbows and knees. These areas lose moisture faster than others and need extra attention. Our super hydrating Sleeping Mask is an amazing addition to your nightly skincare routine.
  12. Monitor the foods you eat
    1. Christmas parties every weekend and freshly baked goodies at work are hard to avoid, we know! While indulging a little bit is okay be aware of the amount of sugar, carbs, dairy and oils you are consuming. Try carrying some healthy snacks with you so that when you are tempted to have that third cookie you can pull out a bag of veggies or nuts or fruit, etc.

Below are some of our top Winter product recommendations. For even more Winter product recs, read our article: Winter Prduct Must-Haves

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Comments (1)

[…] Part of this includes always removing makeup as mentioned above, but the other part means paying attention to your skin and giving it what it needs. Again, alcohol, sugar, dairy and grains all can cause irritation and inflammation. During the next few months consider using more healing and hydrating products. We list a few of our favorites below. Read more about how Fall and Winter weather affects the skin here. […]

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