The News
Wednesday 24 of April 2024

Time to Winterize Your Skin

Moisturizers should be applied frequently,photo: Pixabay
Moisturizers should be applied frequently,photo: Pixabay
No season is harder on your skin than the cruel cold months of winter


Winter’s just around the corner and Jack Frost is about to come nipping.

But while you soon may be busy bundling up to protect yourself from the flu and seasonal allergies, don’t neglect your complexion.

The truth is that no season is harder on your skin than the cruel cold months of winter, when low freezing temperatures, heavy winds and a dramatic drop in humidity punish your dermas and leaves it about as moist as the Sahara Desert.

Low freezing temperatures, heavy winds and a dramatic drop in humidity punish your dermas and leave it about as moist as the Sahara. Desert. Photo: Pixabay

But dermatologist Heidi Muñoz Hink of the Dermatología Integral clinic in Insurgentes-San Borja says that with a simple routine and daily care, you can free your skin from the grasp of Old Man Winter.

First off, she said during a presentation of a new pharmacosmetic line of skincare products from the Spanish-based CDM Genové corporation, be sure to lather on the moisturizers.

Moisturizers should be applied frequently and liberally year-round and are best applied when the skin is damp, such as after a steamy shower, so that water can be trapped and absorbed into the skin surface.

“But during winter, you have to be especially careful because that is the time of year when people suffer the most from dry skin,” Muñoz Hink said.

“So you should probably apply moisturizer at least twice a day during this season, and if your skin is particularly dry to begin with, apply moisturizer even more often.”

Additional applications with a water-in-oil moisturizer throughout the day will help to prevent further dehydration, she said.

If you still feel that your skin is loosing moisture, try adding oils directly to your bath, or using a heavier cream such as Genove’s new Aqua de Rosa, enriched with glycerine, which will cling to your skin longer, she said.

Winter is also a good time to try moisturizers that feature antioxidants that further counteract the free-radical damage caused by winter’s elements. Common antioxidant ingredients include alpha-lipoic acid, chamomile, grape seed, ginkgo biloba, melatonin and vitamins A, C and E.

Genové’s new Leche Hidratate body cream, for example, has soothing wheat germ to hydrate and increase skin’s natural elasticity while imparting a rich source of vitamin E, Muñoz Hink said.

You should apply moisturizer at least twice a day during winter months. Photo: Pixabay

“Always remember to use an exfoliator in winter, but only about once a week,” she added.

“Your body tends to scruff off old skin much slower in the winter, and an exfoliating agent will keep it looking fresh and youthful.”

Muñoz Hink also said that you should ditch harsh products with lye-based soaps that can upset your skin’s pH levels and lead to chafing.

Muñoz Hink suggested using a neutral soap such as Genové’s Neutrodermol or Netrogena’s glycerine bar, both of which are formulated to match the skin’s natural acidity of pH of 5.5.

Muñoz Hink also recommended steering clear of hot water in winter.

Due to seasonal cold and flu viruses, general achiness or just wanting to warm up, we shower or bathe more frequently in hot water in the wintertime.

“Hot water may feel good, but it is also very damaging and drying to your skin,” she said.

“Bath or shower water should be warm, not hot.”

 Whatever the season, Muñoz Hink said not to forget to use sunscreen.

“Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean that the sun’s ultraviolet rays have headed south for the winter,” she said.

Muñoz Hink said that before all outdoor activities, you should use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

And remember, at higher altitudes, like Mexico City, ultraviolet light, which causes burning, is more intense.

Muñoz Hink said to look for natural mineral-based sunscreens featuring moisturizing ingredients such as aloe, coconut butter and herbal oils to further protect your skin.

She likewise said to turn off that space heater.

“Room temperature should be maintained at as low a temperature as possible for comfort,” said Muñoz Hink.

“Hot air coming from heaters removes moisture from the air and even draws moisture out from our skin.”

To overcome the drying effect of heated air, Muñoz Hink recommended investing in a humidifier or vaporizer, as these add moisture back to the dry winter air.

“Chapped lips are one of the most common problems during the winter months,” she said.

“We tend to make the problem worse by constantly licking our lips, thinking that we are giving them moisture. But, as that moisture evaporates, the lips then dry out even more. Always use a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15 and preferably one with antiseptic agents.”

Some lip balms are made with tea tree oil, which is healing for cracks and winter sores.

Other good ingredients in lip balms include beeswax, aloe, vitamin E and essential oils.

Remember to apply the lip balm frequently throughout the day.

“By following a few basic but important precautions, we can keep our skin healthy and glowing year-round,” Muñoz Hink said.

“And by becoming aware of what causes winter skin problems, we can learn how to avoid them. With prevention and knowledge, our skin will ultimately win against the ravages of winter.”


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