Avoid Winter Dry Skin

Now that the cold has settled in here in the northwest, it’s time to think about shifting the way we’re taking care of our skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “your skin is your body’s largest and fastest-growing organ,” and the season changes affect our skin differently, with the most extreme seasons posing the most extreme challenges for keeping your skin soft, supple and healthy.

Winter UV Protection

In fact, the naturally overcast disposition of Portland, especially in the cold of winter, can make you forget that your skin is still being exposed to harmful UV rays. A common misconception is that the sun does less damage in the winter and on cloudy days. In actuality, UV rays are not affected by temperature and up to 80% of them can penetrate cloud cover.
This is why it’s a good idea to remember to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 15, to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects. Apply generously to all exposed skin twenty minutes before going outside, reapplying every two hours. There are plenty of moisturizers on the market these days that do double duty, providing SPF protection as well as helping you up your moisturizer game all the way around.
In addition to skin cancer and early aging, harsh winter weather can really dry out our skin, resulting in roughness, cracking, uncomfortable tightness, chapped lips and eczema.

Tips for maintaining healthy skin in the winter

Use a moisturizer: Moisturize after each time you shower as well as overnight. Choose a product that is oil-based (not water-based) and one with natural ingredient such as aloe, sunflower oil and oat kernel extract that will promote moisture and not dry your skin out like petroleum-based products do.

Avoid key conditions that cause dry skin: Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to simply avoid or limit exposure to the things that lead to it. For maximum healthy skin avoid or limit time out in the sun during peak hours of 10am-4pm, hot or long baths, going out in strong wind, low humidity and dry heat, high altitudes, wet socks or gloves, alcohol and soaps that strip away the skin’s natural oils.

Take up skin brushing: Using a natural (non-synthetic), long-handled bristle brush is a quick and inexpensive skin treatment that exfoliates, drains lymph nodes, unclogs pores, reduces cellulite, and generally keeps your skin looking and feeling healthy. Start with your feet or fingers moving toward your torso. Tip: always brush in the direction of your heart.

Invest in a humidifier: Central heating and space heaters can really dry out a room, especially if you live in a newer building. A humidifier can allow inside air to retain its moisture which in turn dries out your skin a lot less.

Wear sunglasses: Protect the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses – preferably a pair that is a little oversized to encompass the largest area possible.

Lip balm: Lips can get so dry in the winter they crack. It might seem like a small thing, but dry lips can be a constant irritant throughout your day. Applying a little lip balm, especially before going outside, can help nip dryness in the bud before it can take hold.

Red Light Therapy ( RTL) : Incorporate Red Light Therapy (RLT) into your routine: Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, can be a valuable addition to your winter skincare regimen. RLT panels emit low-level red light that penetrates the skin’s surface, promoting collagen production, reducing inflammation, and improving overall skin health. Consider investing in an RLT panel to use at home to help combat the effects of winter dryness and maintain a radiant complexion.

Relax in our Far Infrared Sauna: Stimulate sweating and clean toxins from your muscles to leave them clean, soft, and able to stay better hydrated. Different than the steam saunas of old, the far infrared heats your tissues 1.5 to 2 inches in-depth, stimulating the body’s cellular detoxification process, enhancing circulation, metabolism and oxygenating your tissues. Insider’s tip: be sure to drink plenty of water afterward.

Whether you choose to incorporate just a few of these tips into your winter skin care regimen, or all of them, one thing is certain — taking your skin care seriously is a step toward better health that you will be able to see as well as feel.

To learn more about our Far Infrared Sauna, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (503) 233-9030.

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