Health Advocate Blog

Protect your skin from Old Man Winter

If you live in an area where the winter months are colder, keeping your skin healthy can be tricky. Going from cold temperatures and frigid winds outdoors to heated temperatures indoors can leave your skin feeling dry. When your skin doesn’t have enough moisture, it becomes chapped and flaky. Here are some tips for keeping your skin healthy throughout the winter season:

  • Dress in layers: Avoid wearing wet clothes that can cause irritation and sores. Dressing in layers allows you to remove articles of clothing if you get hot and start to sweat.
  • Moisturize your skin: Using a thicker moisturizer in the winter that is oil-based as opposed to water-based can help nourish your skin from the inside and can help balance your natural oil production.
  • Exfoliate: The outermost layer of your skin contains many dead cells; exfoliating helps to rid your skin of these dead cells. It can also help to improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture. But don’t over-exfoliate, as this could irritate your skin.
  • Take warm, not hot, showers: Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, causing it to lose moisture. Opting for warm, shorter showers can help your skin retain some moisture.
  • Consider a humidifier: Humidifiers help put moisture back into the air and help prevent dry skin. Humidifiers can also help people breathe better in winter, if they have dry noses due to being inside with the heat.
  • Get some Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can affect your skin’s health. Vitamin D can be found in milk, soy milk, almond milk or fortified orange juice. Eat fortified cereals, fatty fish like tuna or salmon, cheese, mushrooms and egg yolks to increase your Vitamin D.
  • Drink water. Proper hydration is important for good health. It’s also something that can help keep your skin healthy. If you don’t drink enough water, this could lead to you—and your skin—feeling dried out.

Following these tips can help prevent you from having dry and flaky skin throughout the winter season. If your dry skin is irritating, or you have or think you may have a dry skin-related condition like eczema, be sure to consult your doctor, who can recommend a treatment plan, if needed. And if you’re a Health Advocate member, you can call and speak to a Personal Health Advocate about your questions or concerns, or get help finding a local, in-network doctor!