So we’ve been told over and over to stay out of the sun; that it’ll bring out wrinkles and dry out our skin. But did you know that you’re more likely to have wrinkles in winter than in summer? It’s true, and it’s because there’s less humidity and moisture in the air in the cold months than in the hot months, and along with the dry air and harsh winds of winter, your skin begins to dry out. And remember, skin contains collagen — a key part of your skin’s structure — and it needs moisture.
According to Dr. Arthur Perry, MD., when the humidity drops below 30%, your skin starts to really dry out, especially in the lip area and the hands. With the drop in humidity, the skin is not able to retain as much water, and as a result, it becomes dry and is prone to cracks. As we get older, our ability to make more natural protective oils (sebum) declines, and that combined with the chemicals in our soaps and water, it’s no wonder that our skin starts to get really dry and rough.
So to combat the dreaded dryness, we need to stop it before it can start. As soon as you get out of the shower and while your skin is still damp, put on moisturizer. This will trap in that extra water and prevent your skin from drying out. Moisturizers that are good to use are those with hydrating properties. These include oils such as olive, coconut, jojoba, vitamin E or aloe vera.
Avoid moisturizers with added fragrance and essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus since these can cause irritation, especially if your skin is already dry and cracked. Check the ingredients, and if you see Hyaluronic acid, stay away! This ingredient is in a lot of beauty products and is counter productive to keeping your skin moist. This is because Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, and relies on moisture to be effective. If there is no moisture in the environment, it will begin to draw moisture away from your skin!
Another thing to avoid are hot showers. Ladies, I know there’s nothing better than letting that hot water pour over us like rain, as we soak up as much heat as possible. The bad thing though, is that heat destroys collagen. Which means that it leads to that dreaded dry skin.
What you should do is eat plenty of essential fats. Avacados, fish, flax seed, coconut oil are all great sources of essential fats. Our cells are surrounded by a protective lipid (fat) membrane, and if the body doesn’t have enough fat, it loses moisture and it’s ability to function properly.
Above all, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! If you really want to step it up, think about getting a humidifier to keep indoors in the winter. A humidifier will keep moisture in the air, and will provide needed moisture to your skin. So take extra care this cold season, and make sure you keep those winter wrinkles away by eating healthy and staying moisturized.