Brace Yourselves, Winter is Coming
Oh the weather outside might be getting frightful, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to.
Canadian winters often vary in intensity depending on what part of the country you’re located, but they all share certain things in common - dryness and a dip in temperature. Here are some ways that can help you brace yourselves this winter
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
This one is probably no surprise, so let’s start off with this obvious one. With the drier temperatures, you want to try to lock in as much moisture as possible for your skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, "some key ingredients that work well for dry skin include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, and shea butter." You’ll want to slap on the moisturizer quite quickly after showering as well - applying the moisturizer while your skin is still damp will help lock in the moisture already on your skin. Some people might find it helpful to use thicker moisturizers than what they usually use in the warmer seasons. Also, don’t just focus on your face - make sure you’re moisturizing other parts of your body that are at the mercy of the elements like your neck, hands, and lips too. Speaking of, that leads us to:
Did we mention winter usually boasts dryness? Well, this is ESPECIALLY so during the era of COVID - that extra handwashing is going to dry out your hands already. Please believe us when we say dry, itchy, cracked, peeling hands are not fun. Make sure to moisturize your hands like we mentioned above, but also wear a pair of gloves when you head out into the cold or when you have to use harsher substances at your workplace to protect your hands. The former will protect your hands from cold temperature as the fingers are one of the most common areas for frostbite to occur. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has a good infographic on how to treat frostbite as well as signs and symptoms here, and the Government of Canada has an informative article on this as well here.
Stay warm, but not too hot
ALSO in lieu of the theme of dryness, having the fireplace burning bright, shining along you might sound nice and cozy, but sitting in front of a large open flame like that can dry out your skin (same with other strong heat sources, too). Similarly, a hot shower after a cold, long day sounds really nice, but surprise surprise, that also tends to dry out the skin too. The Canadian Dermatology Association suggests limiting shower time to “about 10 minutes or less” in lukewarm water, and “[for] those with already dry skin, aim for five.” Showering for excessive amounts of time in hot water might irritate the skin. If you find the heating system in your home is making things dry, you can consider adding a humidifier to the mix.
Sunscreen, sunblock, SPF around the clock
A lot of people think you only need this during the summer, but just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that UV rays are also hibernating. We probably sound like a broken record at this point, but make sure you’re using a good SPF 30 sunscreen/sunblock on your face, hands and neck. You can also purchase lip balms with SPF, too, which protects your lips from the sun and from chapping.