(ARA) – While the crisp, cool weather may leave a healthy-looking rosy glow on cheeks, colder seasons can be tremendously harsh on skin. Extreme changes and inclement weather during the fall and winter months can leave skin dry, chapped and even cracked.
“Keeping skin healthy during cold months isn’t complicated, but it does take some extra effort,” says Dr. Charles Zugerman, a practicing dermatologist and associate professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Taking a few simple steps each day will help skin look and feel great no matter the season.”
Zugerman offers these tips for keeping skin healthy and beautiful when the temperatures take a dip:
1. Continue to wear sunscreen
Don’t store away the sunscreen – protecting skin from harsh UVA and UVB rays is important all year long. The sun can be particularly intense when it reflects off ice and snow on a clear and cold day. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to the face every day, and don’t forget the hands as they need protection too.
2. Keep lips moisturized
When the weather turns dry and cool, it’s not uncommon for lips to become chapped and cracked. Forgo the pain with a proactive approach of keeping lips deeply moisturized from the start by applying a hydrating balm with SPF protection.
3. Moisturize right for the season
When the temperature drops, it’s a signal to change up your daily moisturizer. You might consider switching from a regular lotion to one that includes medication for dry skin, or a thicker formula such as a cream or butter. Avoid extremely hot showers and baths as they can zap skin of moisture. When you do indulge, keep hot showers or baths short and moisturize immediately afterward.
4. Exfoliate your face weekly
Because skin can become dried out so easily during cool months, dead skin cells can build up and clog pores. To avoid winter breakouts and keep skin clean and blemish-free, it’s wise to exfoliate your face once or twice a week. A gentle exfoliating cleanser helps remove the buildup of oil and dead cells to help reveal fresh, healthy skin.
5. Keep H2O top-of-mind
Keeping skin hydrated goes beyond lotion and moisturizers. It starts from the inside by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Whether you’re enjoying a refreshing ice water or pouring yourself a cup of warm tea, make it your goal to drink water morning, noon and night.
By making small changes to your daily routine, such as applying a medicated lotion after a shower, drinking plenty of water and using a hydrating balm, your skin will be healthy and feel wonderful during even the coldest seasons..