I love winter, but I hate winter skin!
There has to be a way we can prevent or prepare our skin for when the temperatures take a sudden dive. So here I am on a mission to stop this uncomfortable condition from happening.
Did you know that sunburns can also lead to a winter rash? According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, meaning we see double the trouble here and can be hit twice by the same rays. If you enjoy outdoor sports or work outdoors at a ski resort, you are at greater risk due to the high altitudes as the rays are more intense on these mountains.
Let’s do some groundwork to avoid this itchy situation.
Winter is coming
Its such a common condition and yet we think we should just grin and bear it , but the best way to prepare is to start in the month prior to the start of winter to set our bodies up for the change. The best advice to give on this topic is to prep up with moisturizer. Yes it’s so simple but I know for a fact that we all don’t moisturize twice a day religiously. If we can do this and stick to it for a month before winter and all into the snowy days we should be on the right track to avoid that nasty, dry, itches! If you don’t enjoy creams than petroleum jelly or Vaseline is your next best option. Get stocked up all the way back into summer as it’s a must have.
What does winter skin look and feel like?
The common symptoms are
If you already suffer from or have had eczema / allergies/rosacea or psoriasis and any other sensitive skin condition you are more prone to develop winter skin
How does this happen & is there relief?
Bitterly cold air and strong winds attacks your skin and strips the moisture. Because you are freezing it would make sense to hop into a piping hot shower or bath, but this is the worst you can do leaving your skin dry, itchy and sensitive.
As mentioned above you could already have eczema or an allergy to certain cleansing products and this just exacerbates the situation. Stressing about it adds to injury and will worsen this. So where is the relief?
- Moisturize like crazy – like I said earlier, start this routine well into summer and it will be the best prep you can do, during winter , apply after you shower or bath.
- Natural Oils – once again nature to the rescue, coconut oil is a winner and you can use as often as needed not only after bathing. You can also combine it with vitamin E oils as this vitamin heals and repairs damaged cells.
- Witch Hazel & Rosewater – absolutely nature’s best kept secret and a relief for that redness and itching, pour this in your warm bath water or apply directly to your skin with a cotton pad.
- Oatmeal – such a wholesome food and now use it to nourish your skin. Can be used as a soap or soak in a warm bath with a cup of this goodness.
- Sea Kelp – the ocean’s superfood found dep in under sea forests , these seaweeds or algae have anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties that your dry, itchy and flaky skin needs. Read more here about this ocean wonder.
If you desperately require medical intervention than a cortisone cream will help that will reduce the inflammation, you can get this at your local pharmacy.
I know you are tempted to relieve yourself by doing this but think twice. I’ve placed this nugget of advice on its own because it is so crucial. As it gets worse you will want to scratch even more and this will cause cracking and bleeding, leaving you vulnerable to infections. So put on your gloves and rather use your fingers for good, like applying petroleum jelly or that cortisone cream!
Other useful tips to help
If you cannot escape your cold climate or live in a zone that has absolutely no warmth during winter or have to work outdoors try these :
- If you can try to skip bathing and do it every other day. Your skin needs time away from soaps and cleansers and especially hot water. You not prone to sweat excessively during winter so twice a day bathing can take a backseat for now.
- When you do need a wash use fragrance free glycerin soaps or soaps made of coconut and olive oil.
- We tend to layer up during winter so pay attention to your clothing and stick to cotton and hemp as they are natural and will help your skin breathe and not overheat.
- Sunburn in winter is so common and you should always wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 all year round
- Spend less time in front of roaring fires, another temptation to warm up but think about the dehydrating effects on your skin. Also, on a cautionary note if you are going to embalm yourself in petroleum jelly than a roaring fire is no place to be 🙂
Our lessons learned
Take action before the temperature drops by lubricating daily with your moisturizers and your petroleum jelly. Arm yourself with natural defense through plants and oils such as coconut and witch hazel to sooth & heal your skin.
Keep your hands in its gloves and away from your face to avoid irritating it further and opening it up to infection. Stay indoors but stay away from heat from fires and from hot showers and if you are smelling a bit funky wash in lukewarm water with a glycerin soap.
That’s not so bad now is it so now you can go out prepared to conquer winter and enjoy the beauty and fresh air 🙂