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Is Your Skin Most Aggravating During Winter?

Aug 17, 2007
With all its snow covered, glistening beauty brings a need for some serious skin care because of the extreme cold and lack of humidity that it brings. While summertime usually offers the skin a natural moisture (to an extent), winter brings a natural dryness.

It is important to counteract winters dry, scaly skin in order to combat aging that can happen as well as protect your skin from chapping, cracking, and becoming irritated. Most of the time, chapping and irritation can be itching, and scratching leads to breaks in your skin. When your skin cracks, you are vulnerable to attacks from bacteria, viruses, and allergens. By keeping your skin hydrated and cared for, it is in prime condition to do its main job: protecting you.

One of the hardest things for many people (especially in colder climates) is to realize that the suns rays can damage your skin in the winter, just as they can in the summer. Actually, skin that is regularly exposed to winters UV rays (in snowy climates) is actually more apt to suffer damage that the same skin during summer.

This is due to two factors. The first factor is the snow. When the suns rays hit this natural white covering, the do much more than glisten; they reflect. This means that as the UV rays flow from sun to earth, your skin is hit, but then the hit the snow and bounce back skyward. Those rays will again hit your exposed skin. It is quite the same concept as someone who tans using a foil tanning blanket. The other factor is the fact that very few people realize that they should be wearing sunscreen in the winter.

People who do a lot of snow skiing usually know to use this handy little protector, but the every day crowd simply does not consider the rays and their reflection. You have probably experienced a dry, red face after being outside during winter, you probably told people that you had windburn. Did you ever consider that it looked exactly like your summer sunburn?

If you had sunglasses on, was there a white, raccoon style mask on your face where the glasses were? Although wind can definitely chap the skin, creating an incredible burning sensation, many people who think they have windburn are actually suffering from winter sunburn.

Obviously, the answer to this condition is to remember to use your sunscreen on any areas of your skin that are exposed to the wintry weather conditions. This is especially important if your are using any skin care products or medications applied to the skin that contain tretinoin as an active ingredient.

If you do a lot of exfoliating, you may find that you should adjust your routine so that you are not exfoliating quite as much. Dry skin can be irritated by exfoliation through alpha hydroxy acids, so you may want to consider just using an alpha hydroxy based exfoliating treatment only one time per week or less.

Humidifiers can help keep your skin moist during dry winter weather, too. Although many skin care guides recommend that you utilize these, I feel compelled to tell you that you should not use them if you are allergic to molds or mildew. If you are not, that's great! Humidifiers are going to be able to help you. If you or someone in your house suffers from these allergies, it is not recommended for you to use a humidifier. Remember that internal harm shows up on the outside.

No matter how much the humidifier would help your skin from the outside, if you are suffering through internal irritation from allergies, it will show in your skins condition.

Overly hot showers are not good for your skin any time of the year, but during winter, they are especially harmful. Natural oils are broken down and stripped from the skin in hot water.

Likewise, you should consider using detergent free cleansers during winter months, as these will leave many of the beneficial natural oils in your skin and cleanse the excess oil and debris away.
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