The sun is setting earlier and earlier, and weekly forecasts are starting to feature snowflakes again. Winter has finally arrived, and that means healthy skin care routines need to be updated in response to drastic climate change.
Dr. Annie Chiu of the American Academy of Dermatology spoke to reporters at Ohio newspaper The Courier about what it takes to maintain healthy skin even while Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.
Skin does not handle sudden change very well, reacting better to more subtle changes in temperature. When winter rolls around, the skin needs more attention than it usually would as a result. According to Dr. Chiu, this means adjusting to a heavier moisturizer, a wardrobe that will cover more of the skin, and staying well hydrated throughout the season.
However, it is a mistake to assume that only the outdoors are harmful to skin during the winter. Sudden rises in temperature can be just as bad as sudden drops says Dr. Chiu. Stepping into an overly warm house can be damaging to the skin, as can be stepping out of an extremely hot bath into a cold bathroom. Turning down the heater a little and taking warm but not hot showers can go a long way towards maintaining healthy skin.
For sufferers of unique skin conditions like acne, your regimen may also have to change some. Most acne medicine dries the skin, so one would think that the winter would be a good thing for acne sufferers. In reality, the dryness of winter on top of a dry acne treatment can actually cause the skin to react in the opposite direction. So much dryness causes it to overproduce oil and compounds acne problems. Balancing acne medication with a moisturizer can help to keep the skin from reacting poorly.
In all aspects of skin care, balance is key. The best way to counteract the effects of drastic temperature changes on the skin is to try and maintain its temperature and moisture balance whenever possible. Consulting with a licensed esthetician or dermatologist is the best way to determine how to find that balance and what tools you may need to keep your skin vibrant for the spring.