This article takes a look at how the cold climate affects your skin and what you can do to keep your skin protected. You will also learn how to refashion your lifestyle to manage the climate’s effects on your skin. Following the tips provided here will help you maintain healthy, glowing skin throughout the year.
Why Cold And Low-Humidity Weather Affects Your Skin
You might be curious to know why and how a change in weather affects your skin. The skin is a sensitive part of the body. It reacts easily to changes in the physical environment. When factors such as temperature and humidity change on a dime, it becomes a shock to the skin. This is because the skin likes some consistency that nature can’t offer.
Each time there’s a major shift in weather, the prevalent climate takes its toll on your skin. During the winter months, the climate becomes colder with drier air. The drop in the level of humidity speeds up the loss of moisture from the skin. As a result, you have to work harder to maintain hydration to neutralize the climate’s effect on your skin.
In colder climates, your skin is more likely to experience dryness and flakiness due to loss of hydration. The chances are much greater, especially if you’re prone to eczema or other dry skin conditions. The cold weather and wind can cause cracks in the outer skin layer and inflammation. These conditions can severely affect the overall health of your skin. Dermatologists attribute symptoms such as inflammation and irritation to disruption in the skin barrier during this period.
Sudden Temperature Changes
As you alternate between the cold outdoors and heated buildings, your skin reacts to the sudden temperature changes. These changes can result in conditions mentioned earlier. Exposure to different temperatures forces the capillaries in the face to contract and expand rapidly. This process leads to broken veins and skin redness.
You can limit the risk of broken veins and inflammation by reducing the temperature difference between the warm indoors and freezing outdoors. You can achieve this by wrapping up in the cold and not overdoing it with central heating. Applying a light layer of barrier cream and products with anti-inflammatory ingredients can also help.
Common Practices That Negatively Affect Your Skin During Winter Months
Experts have noted that a drop in temperature and humidity isn’t the only factor responsible for most of the skin problems people experience during winter. The sudden switch in weather coupled with survival measures for the cold is the major cause. Lifestyle changes can exacerbate weather-induced skin conditions. This can include taking long, hot showers, having long soaks in the tub or using central heat in homes.
1. Hot Bath and Shower
When the weather becomes cold, the next thing most people want to do is get in a hot bath or shower to keep their body warm. This option becomes more desirable, especially if you’ve spent long hours outdoors. Having long soaks in the tub or hopping in a soothing shower can be truly relaxing. But how often do you consider the effects of the practices on your skin. Let’s break it down:
According to dermatologists, hot baths and showers can dissolve the protective barrier in the skin. This ultimately leads to skin dehydration. You shouldn’t confuse dry skin with a dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type while dehydrated skin refers to a skin condition.
Dry skin is characterized by the lack of oil because the skin produces less sebum than normal skin. The inadequate production of sebum means the skin is deficient of the lipids it requires to retain moisture. This also builds a strong barrier to protect the skin against external aggressors. This is not the case with skin dehydration. Dehydrated skin doesn’t have enough water. The condition is traceable to external factors. These include cold, low-humidity weather, diet and caffeine consumption.
Bathing with hot water is a strategy to keep your body warm. But it sucks much more water from your skin, leaving it dehydrated. During winter, it’s not uncommon to find many people with rough, red, cranked or peeling skin. Some skin conditions such as eczema can also flare up during this period.
To reduce the level of damage to your skin, consider having warm baths and showers instead. You should also apply moisturizer daily to up the water content within your skin.
2. Highly Intensive Central Heating
As the cold becomes more intense during winter months, most households and public places depend on their radiators to supply warmth. Radiators appear to be a more affordable option during this time. But are you aware of the impact the heat coming from the machine has on your skin?
Heated air in homes and offices further reduces humidity levels. This leads to evaporation of water from your skin. As a result, you’re more likely to have to battle with cracking, flaking and irritation. The heat leaves your skin with a dull and parched complexion. It can also make you more prone to breakouts, especially if your skin is oily.
The drying effects of harsh central heating can be reduced by investing in a humidifier. Humidifier keeps the air moist, thereby improving the water content of your skin. If you can’t afford a humidifier, dermatologist recommend placing a few bowls of water near your radiators. This helps in balancing the temperature.
Because of the side effects of a central heating system. It’s advisable to drink plenty of water. This will replenish the moisture you lose to the heat. You should also not forget to apply your moisturizer, and lip balm as often as necessary.
Typical Cold Weather Diets
Other than hot baths, showers and heated air, your diet can also affect your skin. This is especially true if you have oily, acne-prone skin. Studies have revealed that diets that are high in processed carbs may trigger or worsen acne. Foods with a high glycemic index (the level of glucose in the blood) raise sugar levels. The spike in sugar levels leads to an increase in the level of hormones responsible for oil production.
To be on the safe side, don’t go overboard on sugary treats, pasta, white bread, potatoes, and other such foods. You should up your intake of foods that have a low glycemic index, like oatmeal, fruits and brown rice. This way, you can avoid diet-related breakouts and flare-ups during the winter.
How To Maintain Healthy Skin In Cold Weather
The following tips will help you maintain healthy skin throughout the winter:
Limit warm showers
As the weather transitions from summer into winter, longer showers become common. It’s recommended to limit showers to no more than five minutes. Avoid frequent contact with hot water. Prolonged hot baths or showers dissolve protective layers in the skin and escalate dehydration.
Use gentle, nourishing body wash
During winter months, you’re advised to go for a light body wash. You can consult your dermatologist for recommendations on the right product for your skin type. You should also follow up with a thicker body cream than you would during hot, summer months.
Apply moisturizer as often as necessary
With more moisture being lost out to the dry air, you want to replenish your skin’s water content. Applying moisturizer within one minute of coming out of the shower is good for your skin. You should look for a product that contains glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. You can also include this in your facial treatment routine throughout this period.
Use hydrating serum
Winter is a time when everyone is more likely to experience skin dehydration. Regardless of your skin type. Do you want to maintain healthy skin during the winter months? Try integrating a hydrating serum into your regimen. But never skip out on your moisturizer, regardless of the amount of hydrating serum you use.
Additionally, you can consider oil-based massages such as aromatherapy. This type of massage uses essential oils that can help your body increase hydration.
Oil-removing cleansers are great in the hot and humid months. But your skin requires creamy cleansers during the colder months. A creamy cleanser helps your efforts to maintain hydrated, satin-smooth and healthy skin.
The effect of the cold climate on your skin can be damaging. But you can take control of the situation by upping your skin care game. The important thing is to pay attention to the health of your skin. Don’t forget to switch your approach as weathers change.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 4 – How To Maintain Healthy Skin In Cold Weather
Chapter 5 – Conclusion