These crisp cool winter months are beautiful. The fresh snow lingers on the ground as you wake up to a lovely frost coating what used to be vibrantly colored trees just a few weeks ago. But now that winter is here, many still have to be outside to care for animals or land, and because of that, we’ve designed this helpful guide with natural alternatives to help keep your skin perfectly beautiful and healthy even in the icy cold and dry winter wind.
Winter presents some seriously interesting problems for those with already problematic skin. Have no worries! There are some things that can be done to minimize the effects of the harsh cold and dry weather on your skin. Here they are:
DRINK MORE WATER
During winter months, the body is going to need more water. According to a previous Ready Nutrition article by Jerimiah Johnson, getting enough water could even end up being crucial to your own survival. As Johnson puts it:
During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself. Remember what is happening in the cold weather. Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue. This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level. Water is fuel: never forget that. With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm. Food intake is critical, and so is water. –Ready Nutrition
Not only does water help your body stay warm, but it will inject the cells of your skin with vital moisture that is often sucked away by the dry climate. The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body, according to UW Health. Your skin is made up of cells and those skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. As water is lost in large quantities every day, you need to replace it somehow. Drinking more fluids especially straight water will help your skin’s condition, but you might consider other ways too since just drinking water will force the body to distribute it among other vital organs first.
At first, the name “hyaluronic acid” may seem a little scary. I admit I didn’t want to purchase a moisturizer with an acid in it (although I did, and this one is fantastic during the winter; I personally use this every day) until I’d done some research. The fact is, hyaluronic acid is an all natural substance found naturally in the human body. Even though hyaluronic acid is incredible all year round, it can be especially vital during the winter due to the harsh weather conditions that dry out your skin, taking away both moisture and your natural oils. The good news is that hyaluronic acid serum works to help you get smooth skin whether it lacks water (hydration) or oil (moisture). You can’t really overdo it, so just slather this stuff on!
**Special tips via Jaba Labs: When you use hyaluronic acid serum during the winter, your primary goal is to hydrate the skin (and the anti-aging effects are just a bonus) and because the acid bonds instantly with water, you should always apply it with water. To do this, you have two options; the first one is to wet your face and then apply the serum. If you’d prefer not to wet your face, you can also put a small amount of the hyaluronic acid serum in your hand and then add a bit of water. This will not only help with the hydration but by diluting it, it will be better able to penetrate your skin. Personally, I wash my face in the morning, DO NOT dry it, then immediately rub in some pure hyaluronic acid or the aforementioned moisturizer.
KNOW YOUR SKIN
Whether you’re a sun worshipper or vigilant about sun safety, it’s important to examine your skin regularly and take note of any new moles or growths, and any changes in existing growths. Sun lovers need to really assess whether their desire for a tan is worth a lifetime of looking ten years older. As a pale skinned person who cannot leave the house any time of year without sunscreen, I’m often told I look more than ten years younger than my actual age. It isn’t all genetics. I learned at a fairly young age that a sunburn is useless and painful and no tan is worth it. But those who do love the sun and desire that deep tan that comes from too much should be aware of skin changes during winter. Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are huge alarm signals. And even if you’ve carefully practiced sun safety all summer, it’s important to remember to continue being vigilant about your skin in fall, winter, and spring. Self-exams can help you identify potential skin cancers early, or you can get a full body “mole check” by a dermatologist if you feel more concerned. Please keep in mind that seeing a dermatologist even once is a good investment. They can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using.
DO NOT USE TANNING BEDS
Most people are under the impression that a tanning bed will provide adequate levels of vitamin D needed to sustain the body during winter. And while vitamin D is important, it isn’t worth getting skin cancer over. Both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation cause cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. Instead, try to eat foods high in vitamin D or take a supplement.
It’s really that easy to get vital nutrients from good quality foods in the winter.
*This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any health problem. Please see a qualified medical professional if you are concerned about your health.