Almost everybody is stressed around the holidays.
For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring more than a rosy glow to the cheeks or the opportunity to wrap up in a favorite sweaters or blanket and settling in front of a toasty fireplace. They brings changes to your skin. Even if you don’t have a skin condition like eczema, you'll need to take special care of your skin in wintry weather, particulaly when you add stress to the colder weather impacts.
There's added financial stress, family dynamics, navigating busy schedules, and just finding time get everything done on time! The holidays can also mean travel, late nights, sweets, and champagne. The disruption to your normal routine may be welcome in the short run, but your body will pay you back. These emotional and physical stresses wreck havoc not only on your skin, but also on your spirit.
Pamper Your Skin
Indoor heat sources, whether its wood, oil or electricity all eliminate moisture in the air, the humidity. As the air becomes drier, it will try to pull moisture from the nearest source. Unless you are running a humidifier, that nearest source might be you skin, especially your face, hands, and feet. The skin can become so dry it results in flaking, cracking and itching. This condition even has it's own name, "Winter itch." If winter dry skin hasn’t cracked on its own due to lack of humidity, excessive scratching in response to winter itch may be just enough to damage the skin’s surface and according to WebMD, may also welcome infectious agents.
"Cracked skin is more than a cosmetic concern, without a firm layer of skin protecting the body’s internal system, you run greater risk of getting sick and transmitting the illness to others. You’ll notice greater evidence of this concern in the midst of winter or in environments where the humidity typically rests below 10 percent."
As weather conditions change, what should you add to your skincare regimen?
When outdoors continue to use your moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to any exposed areas.
When indoors, add humidity to your home and moisture to your skin.
- Portable humidifiers or those that work with your heating system put moisture in the air.
- Gently cleanse your skin the right way. Ditch the detergent cleansers and use a mild true soap. Frequent hot showers or baths can strip your skin of natural oils. Avoid products that contain alcohol or harsh synthetic surfacants because they also strip your skin of natural oils. Limit your showers or baths to no more than 10 minutes.
- The number one thing you can do to keep your skin supple is to moisturize within three minutes of bathing or showering. After bathing, pat yourself dry and while the skin is still moist, apply an emollient. A water-based moisturizing lotion that works just fine in spring and summer may not be as effective in winter. You'll want to seal water in the skin and preserve moisture when the humidity is low.
Pamper Your Spirit
There are many inexpensive things you can do to help avoid the pre-holiday blues.
Warm up your living space with tons of scented candles and throw pillows and sofa blankets in sumptuous textures. Write an actual letter! Create a new decadent hot drink! Go outside and play!
Find some "Me" Time. Sit still for 10 minutes a day and just be aware of your breath.
Instead of allowing yourself to feel pressure for things you still need to do, there's always something special to be found to appreciate about the holidays, whether it's the beauty of the colorful lights in your neighborhood, or the sweet sounds of children singing carols.
With a little attention, both your spirit and your skin can embrace the "joys of winter."