Preventing dry and irritated winter skin

With the cold weather is your skin suffering? You need to take special care of your skin in the winter to prevent dryness and irritation.

Feed your skin from the inside

What we put in our bodies impacts the health of our skin. This starts with simple hydration. You should increase your water intake in the winter as the artificial heating dries out the air which can cause dehydration. You may not even realize you are dehydrated when you’re indoors as you aren’t sweating.

You know the general rule is to drink 8 cups of water a day. When the heaters are cranked up, you might need to increase this intake to ensure your skin isn’t dry and your lips aren’t cracked.  

Eating foods that support your skin health is also important. By doing this you can slow the signs of aging, maintain your skin's elasticity and fight off some skin conditions. Here are some important foods to include in your diet:

  1. Strawberries as they are full of vitamin C
  2. Kimchi is a fermented dish made with Chinese cabbage and some other vegetables and is packed full of probiotics as well as vitamins A and C.
  3. Blood oranges are high in vitamin C and also antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins which can benefit people with inflammatory skin disorders like acne.
  4. Sunflower seeds are great for vitamin E which protects the skin from sun damage and is involved in the synthesis of collagen. If you’re wanting to maintain a youthful appearance, collagen is super important.
  5. Bone Broth will not only hydrate your skin but it also provides amino acids which are needed for cell regeneration.
  6. Organ meats like liver and heart have lots of benefits including providing a concentrated source of zinc, vitamin A, and selenium which are important in skin health.
  7. Shellfish can help you achieve glowing skin by providing you with important minerals as well as anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
  8. Broccoli has lots of benefits for our health. Our skin benefits from the polyphenol antioxidants which prevent the breakdown of our skin’s collagen and elastin. This means it slows the signs of aging.
  9. Trout is full of benefits for our skin. It’s rich in vitamin D which helps regulate the skin’s immune system. A deficiency in vitamin D could be associated with psoriasis and eczema. It is also a great source of omega-3 fats DHA and EPA which benefit those with anti-inflammatory skin diseases.
  10. Watermelon is of course good for hydration since it’s 90% water. It also has lots of vitamin C and is a good source of the amino acid L-citrulline which may help promote healthy circulation.
  11. Cherries are full of antioxidants which help protect the skin from UV damage.
  12. Tomatoes account for 80% of lycopene consumed by Americans. Lycopene is important as it protects against sun damage but it also improves the overall pigmentation of the skin.

Lock in moisture

You want to make sure you are using skin products to lock in moisture. Look for products that are fragrance free and best for your skin type. You may need to change creams in the winter to provide your skin exactly what it needs. Also know that the skin product you used in your teens often won’t be the one that is best for your skin in your 30s, 40s, or 50s. When selecting skin products, always choose ones that are gentle and fragrance free.

Focusing on your face is natural but don’t forget the rest of your body. Your hands might become especially dry in the winter as you wash them to prevent germs and sickness. Be sure you are using hand cream to protect your hands.

Continue to use sunscreen

Sunscreen is important year round. You can get sun damage through your windows. Just look at the picture of this truck driver. When driving, you get more sun on the left side of your face. This is what that sun damage can do over time to your skin. 

To protect your skin, you can select chemical or mineral sunscreens. These work in different ways. Chemical sunscreens soak into the skin and allow UV light into the skin. Once the light is absorbed, the chemicals in the sunscreen create a chemical reaction that converts the UV light into heat and allows the heat to dissipate from the skin. Mineral sunscreens have the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which sit on the skin and prevent the UV rays from penetrating the skin.

Use sunscreens every single day. This will provide the greatest protection for your skin. Protecting your skin is important to fight off the signs of aging as well as helping to avoid the development of skin cancer.

Like all of the Healthstar family, Healthstar Dermatology is Near You, For You. Our team lives here in the Lakeway community and cares about you and your family. We want to help you achieve success in your skincare journey. To make an appointment with Healthstar Dermatology, please reach out to our team.