Winter is right around the corner. That means it’s time to pack away your shorts and t-shirts for sweaters and scarfs. And just like you would protect your body from the cold temperatures, it’s important that you remember to protect your skin too.
The truth of the matter is our skin is our largest organ system and our first layer of defense from the outside world. It’s easy to forget that the skin is constantly resurfacing itself and it’s important to take care of it because it’s interacting with the environment at all times.
Let’s debunk some of the misconceptions when it comes to taking care of your skin during the colder months of the year:
Myth: I need to apply moisturizer, lots of it. Yes, you should moisturize. However, you should be cautious with some moisturizers that have a high percentage of alcohol as this could further dry your skin. Try using moisturizers with hyaluronic acids or natural oils, like avocado oil, as these can really help hydrate your skin.
Myth: I don’t need sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the earth. Clouds will not protect you and snow reflects light and, over time, this can contribute to sunburn, wrinkles and even skin cancer. You should be using at least SPF30 sunscreen every day, even if you work inside an office. Don’t forget to protect your ears and lips because skin cancers can develop on these areas too.
Myth: I should exfoliate my dry, flaky skin. A lot of people like to exfoliate in the winter to address dry, flaky skin, but that can irritate and dry out your skin even more. Before exfoliating, try using a good moisturizer first.
Winter skincare doesn’t need to be intimidating. It is best to just continue your regular skincare routine and make small adjustments as needed along the way. For people with sensitive, dry skin, small changes – like keeping your showers short, showering in warm (not hot) water or using gentle soaps – can help prevent over drying your skin during the cold winter months.
If you’re exploring new skincare products, consider consulting with a professional. There are medical offices, like Anne Arundel Medical Group (AAMG) Plastic Surgery, who offer a variety of services and products, including skincare, to help you look and feel your best.
Skincare is really an investment into your future and the time to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer is when you’re young. However, it’s never too late and never too early to start taking care of your skin.