As the piercing cold of winter grabs hold of most parts of the country this time of year, it brings with it the uncomfortable symptoms that affect our daily lives. This frigid time of year brings with it low-humidity air that can aggravate existing conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, but can also give quite a pain to those who usually have no problem with their skin the rest of the year. The fact that we typically use furnaces or heaters to keep warm in the winter only compounds the effects of the low moisture air we encounter.
I have found that using the proper skin moisturizers each night at bedtime can help alleviate a great deal of the dry, cracked skin I get on my hands each winter. The product featured below from The Honest Co. makes a nice nightly moisturizer being that it is hypoallergenic, non-greasy and has a calming natural lavender scent. As you’ll gather from some of the next few products I use regularly, I go by a general rule of using baby and kid’s products because if it’s gentle enough for my kids, I figure it is gentle enough for my sensitive skin too.
Sunscreen is also increasingly important not only to prevent drying of the skin, but also to protect from the harmful reflective UV rays. This was a lesson I happened to learn early on in my days of working at our local ski resorts and spending a lot of time snowboarding, where the reflection off of the snow could easily give you severe sunburn in a short amount of time.
Hands and feet can get wet and cold, then be heated back up with dry, warm air again in a viscous cycle of humidity loss. It’s critical to take the proper steps to prevent and treat any signs of dryness. I can easily recall times when I have forgotten to take the proper steps to prevent dryness on my feet, which quickly turned into cracking and itching. Use of a great product like the O’Keefe’s foot and hand creams can be a lifesaver for preventing and healing these conditions.
As vulnerable as your hands and feet are to the harmful effects of the cold air, your lips are even more so. Our lips are not privy to being able to have gloves or boots to protect them from the environment, so making sure to use moisturizing lip balm is a must. Being that your lips are susceptible to the elements at all times, it is a must to make sure you apply regularly and use the best product for your needs. It also doesn’t hurt if you use one to protect from the sun’s rays with SPF in it either, like this Chapstick Original moisturizer below.
At a minimum, everyone out there should be using an all-body lotion to help protect against the dry winter air, like this argan oil lotion I have found to work well.
If left untreated, symptoms of winter over-exposure can easily lead to bleeding and even infections. In the event this happens, like when I have let skin dryness get out of hand, this Aquaphor ointment works wonders and was even recommended after having to undergo a small skin cancer removal surgery to aid in the recovery healing/scarring.
Take the proper steps to protect and prevent dry skin issues before you have to experience the discomfort of having to deal with the harmful effects of over-exposure out on the road and at home! After all, Punxsutawney Phil did just predict six more weeks of winter!