It’s a fact – Minnesota winters are not kind to our skin. The sub-zero temperatures, dry air, and lack of natural moisture can make skin feel dry, tight, cracked, or flaky. Luckily, many causes of “winter skin” are well within our control. With some added attention and effort, you can alleviate these symptoms and help your skin feel soft, smooth, and beautiful. Read on as we discuss our solutions for five common winter skin issues.
The cold, dry Minnesota air can deplete skin of natural moisture, leaving it red, itchy, and irritated. When the air is consistently cold and lacks humidity, the water in our skin evaporates quickly, giving you that dry, tight, leather-handbag feeling. Unfortunately, doubling up on moisturizer isn’t enough.
Our solution: Stay hydrated. It may sound like a no-brainer but moisturizing from the inside out is the best way to combat dry skin. Nourish your body with healthy foods and beverages, including our best friend, H2O. A healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish and flaxseed oil, can replenish your body’s moisture and leave skin looking smooth and supple. Of course, don’t forget to follow a good skincare routine including cleansing, exfoliation at least twice per week, and an ultra-rich, winter-friendly moisturizer.
#2 Flaky Skin
Excessive dryness can often lead to flaky or even cracked skin. Ouch! Again, moisturizers are helpful but when used alone won’t completely alleviate the problem.
Our solution: Exfoliate. Using a good quality exfoliator can remove the damaged top layer of the skin and help facilitate new skin cell growth. Try to avoid using soaps as these contain a high PH, which can lead to more dryness and oftentimes inflammation. Also, if possible, avoid rubbing your skin with a towel as this can exacerbate the problem. Gently blot your skin to dry off.
#3 Irritation and Redness
As with extreme heat in the summer, the harsh winter conditions can cause skin changes resulting in irritation and redness. If you’re not careful, these can last throughout the entire winter. Ugh!
Our solution: Be faithful to your skincare routine. As we spend more time indoors during the colder months, it’s easy to become complacent or even lazy when it comes to taking care of your skin. Don’t be that person. Stay on top of your daily regimen. Use a gentle cleanser to help remove irritants followed by your favorite serum and a heavy moisturizer. If you’re unsure which routine is right for you, contact your Belladerm MedSpa skin care professional for guidance.
#4 Chapped Lips
Lips need just as much moisture as the rest of the body. During the colder months, we tend to lick our lips frequently. It may feel like a good temporary solution, but saliva evaporates and dries out lips. Also, wearing thick matte or long-lasting lipstick can leave your lips dry or cracked.
Our solution: Don’t pout. Apply a lip ointment or lip butter rich in vitamin A or E throughout the day and at night. Lip treatments can also be used under lipstick. However, we recommend switching to a moisturizing lip gloss to combat the drier air. Avoid plumping lip glosses, as they contain irritants that can further dry them out.
#5 UV Damage
Yep, you read that right. The sun’s rays can damage your skin even when it’s -20°. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the snow can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays, so regular sunscreen use is crucial to decrease your risk of exposure.
Our solution: You know what we’re going to say – Sunscreen!Whether you’re hitting the slopes in Afton or snowshoeing through Theodore Wirth, applying sunscreen is crucial to protect your skin in the winter, even when it’s cloudy. And, speaking of those dark, dreary I-just-want-to-binge-Netflix days, UV rays can still penetrate the clouds. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to all exposed areas of the body. Psst… don’t forget your lips!
Spring will be here before you know it but why not take care of your skin now? The experts at Belladerm MedSpa are ready to assist with all your winter skincare needs. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call or visit us online at www.belladermmedspa.com.