Ahhh the Joys of Winter - Winter Itch.
The holidays are over. Winter is here. Believe it or not, with a little thought and effort, the months waiting for those first crocus buds to break through the snow to can be very enjoyable. There are many inexpensive things you can do to help avoid the post-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!
And don't forget to also pamper your skin.
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. It 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.
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, so, too, should your skin care routine.
What can you add to your skincare regimen in winter?
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.
- 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. Applying a moisturizer that's oil-based will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion.
- Gently cleanse your skin up the right way. 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, pat dry, and moisturize while your skin is still damp.
With a little attention, both your spirit and your skin can embrace the "joys of winter."