The transition from fall to winter presents unique challenges for everyone. Not only is it important to switch wardrobes in order to brave the cold, we also have to prepare against the seasonal onslaught of the cold and flu.
Taking care of the skin is very important, especially during the cold and dry winter months. Many neglect to take care of their skin during these colder months. This is a problem that is particularly prevalent among men.
Biologically, men’s skin is different than women’s skin because it is thicker, produces more sweat and oil resulting in larger pores that can clog with dirt and oil more easily. Men’s skin also has lower pH values, which can cause some cleansing products to have a more drying effect on skin. Maintaining skin’s hydration levels is one of the most important ways to keep the skin healthy and strong.
Skin Care Tips:
1. Moisturise More:
Find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. (Hint: Many lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based.) But choose your oils with care because not all oils are appropriate for the face. Instead, look for “nonclogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil.
2. Slather on the Sunscreen
No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time
3. Give Your Hands a Hand
The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
4. Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks
Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.
5. Hydrate for Your Health, Not for Your Skin
Drinking water helps your skin stay young looking. In fact, it’s a myth. Water is good for your overall health and the skin of someone who is severely dehydrated will benefit from fluids. But the average person’s skin does not reflect the amount of water being drunk.
6. Grease Up Your Feet
Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine. Use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically, that helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper.
7. Ban Superhot Baths
Sure, soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy. So, too, can periodically reapplying your moisturizer. If those techniques don’t work, go see a dermatologist. You may need a prescription lotion to combat the dry skin, or you may have a condition that isn’t simply dry skin and that requires different treatment.
While the cold weather and winter are unavoidable, dealing with the dry, irritated skin that often accompanies winter can be remedied by simply understanding how to properly care for the skin.
The skin is the immune system’s primary line of defense against bacteria and viruses and when properly cared for, one can enjoy a more comfortable and active winter season.