National Winter Skin Relief
NATIONAL WINTER SKIN RELIEF DAY
As winter kicks into high gear, National Winter Skin Relief Day on January 8 reminds us of all the ways we can keep our skin from withering under the harshest of elements.
The dropping temperatures outside and rising thermostats inside sap the amount of moisture in the air. Our skin is first to notice.
Joshua Zeichner MD, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at The Mount Sinai Hospital, makes a few recommendations to help us keep our skin hydrated through the winter. When the chill sets in, avoid the temptation to take those long, hot showers. The heat strips skin of its natural oils (called ceramides) and causes inflammation. Causing the skin cells to swell, when they dry they become loose like poorly grouted tiles and crack.
Instead, take shorter, lukewarm showers and use gentle cleansers. Harsh soaps with surfactants and claims of pH balance can be harsh on the skin. And don’t scrub! Be tender and let the water and lather do the work.
If you have dry, cracked skin, look for a cream or ointment with light petrolatum, hyaluronic acid and ceramides – the natural fats that make up the grout between the skin cell tiles. ~ Joshua Zeichner MD
After bathing, pat the skin dry with a soft towel. Rubbing causes more irritation and inflammation. With the door closed to keep the humidity in, add a moisturizer.
When dressing, wear layers. The closest layer should be made of natural fibers. Soft fabrics like flannel and cotton cause little to no irritation compared to synthetic materials. Layers also are more effective against cold weather.
Winter skin relief comes many forms. Our skin needs hydration at night, too. Adding humidity to the air with a cool mist humidifier will not only hydrate your skin but will also provide a more restful sleep.