As a member of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program, I received compensation for this post but all opinions are my own.
“Oh winter! Why must you be sucking the life out of my skin!” I say silently to myself as I sigh audibly as I apply and reapply facial moisturizer, lip balm, hand cream, and body lotion to keep my skin hydrated and happy. Winter always wreaks havoc on my skin but this year with more days with below freezing temperatures, wind chill, and snow and more snow, my routine has become a little OCD as I attempt to prevent chapped, crack, and flaky skin that results from being exposed to dry environments.
According to A Guide to Winter Skin by Val Jones, M.D., “Outdoor air is drier in the winter time because colder air has a lower moisture-carrying capacity.” Dr. Jones says that air temperatures of 86 degrees have the power to hold three times more moisture than 50 degree air! The colder temperatures with our body’s inability to produce natural oils for our lips and legs (those body parts lack oil glands) result in dry skin that’s even made worse when exposed to cold, dry wind, and UV rays from snow.
Moisturizers provide the best relief for dry winter skin and I admit that my routine has become a bit OCD as I attempt to hydrate my skin. While I’m busy taking care of my own skin to prevent it from cracking because of the wicked winter weather, I’m also checking to make sure that my kids’ skin gets the additional moisture it needs because they hate it when their lips crack and hurt when they try to eat, getting nosebleeds (we dab a bit of lotion under their noses at bedtime to prevent them from being a daily occurrence), and feeling itchy because of dry skin! That means being vigilant about applying lotion after a bath, smoothing on face cream before they go out, and applying lip balm in any flavor. According to Dr. Jones, “a general rule of thumb is that moisturizing creams are best for mild dryness, oils for moderate dryness and ointment for severe dryness.”
Besides endless application of lotion, moisturizers, and ointment, OTCSafety.org has these six helpful tips to prevent dry, scaly, flaky skin this winter because I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen our DC area forecast, and there’s more cold weather and snow still to come! Stay warm, bundle up, and take care of your skin!
Infograph courtesy of OTCSafety.org. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.