The Cure For All Of Your Winter Skin Problems
Harsh, dry air can wreak havoc on our skin, but there are simple ways to get your glow back. Dr. Lisa Kellett shares her expert tips for flawless skin, year round.
Our skin changes during the winter as the dead cell layers of the skin can become more prominent resulting in “dryer” skin which is for many becomes a visible concern.
Depending on the degree of exposure as well as individual variables and lifestyle, this condition can vary but my patients usually talk to me about “dry” skin, “chapping,” and fissured skin in the winter which can also feel uncomfortable.
Clean quickly: Longer showers and baths cause an increase in the skin’s evaporation process, leaving the skin less hydrated than before. You should switch to baths preferably or keep showers short (between 5 and 10 minutes) to ensure maximum moisture is retained in the skin.
Not so hot: Warm water is best for bathing as hot water removes natural skin oils more quickly.
Use a mild soap - Soaps can dry the skin so try to use a gentle soap or mild cleansing cloths or a non-soap cleanser. You can also use an oil in the bath.
Moisturize after bathing – Lotions and creams are more effective in trapping water in the skin if applied right after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will make bathing a moisturizing experience, rather than a drying experience. When the skin becomes completely dry after washing, some of its natural moisture is lost through evaporation. To keep skin moist, apply emollient throughout the day as needed and before going to bed and this should improve dry skin. If dry skin persists you should see a dermatologist as in some cases seriously dry skin can lead to a condition called dermatitis. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that can be treated by a prescription topical corticosteroid (cortisone) cream or ointment, a topical calcineurin inhibitor, or an immunomodulator. All are applied to the affected areas to treat the problem.
Dry, Cracked Feet
Hydrating Dry Feet The process works by keeping the moisturizer in direct contact with the dry skin.
1. During a shower or bath loofah your wet skin
2. Slather on a layer of barrier cream
3. Wrap feet in saran wrap and cover with cotton socks
4. Go to bed and wake up with soft soles
Pimples, Blackheads & Whiteheads
Active papules, blackheads and whiteheads are all results of unregulated sebaceous glands, which is the root cause of acne. There are many factors including hormones (pregnancy or menopause), medications, the incorrect use of skin care products, cosmetics and stress.
Treatment/Solution: Acne Peels work by using active ingredients to penetrate into the stratum corneum of the skin. The anti-bacterial properties exfoliate dead skin cells obstructing pores that cause acne. Levulan is a prescription photodynamic drug that is combined with a blue light laser illuminator that reduces oil production and eliminates acne bacteria in the skin. The medication is applied directly to the target skin areas and when the light activates the drug, the targeted cells are destroyed. At home products with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide can help clear up existing acne pimples and prevent breakouts by penetrating pores and killing acne causing bacteria.
Dark circles under the eyes are usually due to a vascular (blood vessel) bed beneath the skin, which make the area appear darker. As the skin in this area is among the thinnest on the body, this vascular bed is that much more visible and during winter dark circles can look darker due to dryer skin. Genetics may play a role as well, since shadows are more noticeable on those with fair skin. For some, dark circles become a problem around age 35 and as we age we lose fat in the under-eye area, making dark circles look more prominent. Lastly, certain ethnicities have an olive-based skin tone, which imparts a yellowish or brownish hue to the area and can get worse with sun exposure. Allergies, food sensitivities, a poor diet and lack of sleep can also cause puffiness and dark circles so don’t forget to take care of yourself and get your beauty sleep!
Treatment: When used under the eyes, injectable Hyaluronic-acid fillers, such as Emervel attract water to the surrounding collagen fibres, resulting in a plumped-up appearance which reduces the appearance of shadows. They also cover up the melanin or blood vessels that show through the skin. Results are instant and can last up to 12 months.
DIY: A simple trick to decrease under-eye puffiness: sleep on two pillows the night before a big event or outing to keep the head elevated which keeps the face above the level of the heart to decrease the dilatation of blood vessels and make the appearance of the blood vessels less prominent on the skin.
Protect Your Skin Year Round
People think winter, and assume they are safe from the sun but the sun can be very harmful in the winter as the snow and ice can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays, amplifying their harsh effects. So if you are walking, skiing, or even driving, the most important winter advice is to use sunscreen daily as UV damage not only causes skin cancer and photo damage, it also accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
Solution: I always suggest clear spray sunscreens for people who tend to break out, and creams for people with drier skin types. Always choose an SPF of 30 or higher.