As we all know by looking at the calendar and out the window (if we didn’t know already), it is winter time and the living is not especially easy, particularly for your hair and skin. The wind, cold temperatures and associated dry air outdoors, combined with the central heat and low humidity indoors, all strip moisture from your pores.
All of these forces conspire to make your hair difficult to manage and your skin dry and itchy. Cracked, flaky and irritated skin is not only uncomfortable and irritating at worst; it can also cause severe discomfort and embarrassment.
Here are some simple tips that will help you and your skin manage the winter better:
- Keep your cool. While a long, hot shower always sounds good on a bitterly cold day, prolonged exposure to hot water can actually aggravate moisture loss from the skin by stripping out natural oils. Try to keep showers to 5 minutes or less with lukewarm water.
- Dress for the occasion. When you go outside, cover up as much of your skin as possible with hat, gloves and scarf to limit exposure to the elements, especially wind and cold dry air.
- Increase healthy fat in your diet. Foods with healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help to stimulate the skin and its natural oil production. Eat more nuts, fish, olive oil, flax seed and avocados.
- Stay hydrated. As you know, your skin loses lots of moisture during the winter. It is important to keep yourself hydrated internally (i.e. drink plenty of water) to prevent worsened effects.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Did I mention moisturize? Apply a layer of moisturizer to your skin after showering to trap in moisture or prevent loss of moisture over the course of the day. This also applies to your hands after hand washing.
I know that these steps may seem like common sense to some people, but as my mother used to say, “Unfortunately, common sense is not common.” Protection of your skin, especially as we get older, can pay dividends in terms of limiting damage and stemming the effects of aging.
At Maine Laser Skin Care, we do carry many products for moisturizing and protecting the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin and/or those who have had aesthetic treatments. Feel free to check out our product selection or call us at (207) 873-2158 to ask about recommendations. Our aesthetician, Denise Gidney, can also analyze your skin individually and make personal choices for you during your free consultation.