Saving Your Skin from Winter

By: Amanda Blount

Tis the season for cold weather… and dry skin. But it doesn’t always have to be! There are steps you can take for healthy, glowing skin no matter how cold the winter wind blows.

Medically termed, xerosis, dry skin is a common dermatological condition that makes your skin feel rough and scaly. It can cause itchiness, redness and general discomfort.

Climate can play a major role in affecting how the skin preserves moisture. During the winter season, low temperatures, low humidity and constant exposure to heating systems all factor into stripping away those natural oils that protect your outer skin layer.

The outermost skin layer, the stratum corneum, contains epidermal lipids (fats or oils) which are key in serving as a barrier for healthy skin. Epidermal lipids help retain moisture by protecting against the movement of water and electrolytes1.

Hydrated skin means healthy, soft, supple skin. So what can you do to keep it that way? Take some preventative measures to lock in the moisture. The American Skin Association recommends the following2:

  • Take short, warm (not hot) showers and moisturize directly after.
  • Use moisturizers several times a day to preserve skin lipids and keep moisture sealed in.
  • Use mild soaps.
  • Use a humidifier to promote moisture in the air.
  • Wear protective winter clothing, but avoid itchy materials.

You can also focus eating foods that provide nutrients shown to support healthy skincare3:

  • Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs help retain skin moisture, and can improve the firmness and texture of your skin.
  • Vitamin E: Helps protect the skin barrier from free radicals, which can cause collagen damage and dry skin among other things.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin known for immune boosting promotes healthy skin appearance and collagen production.
  • Vitamin A: Helps prevent dry, flaky skin, as well as maintain and repair skin tissue. Vitamin A also promotes a reduction in free radical damage.
  • Selenium: As an antioxidant trace mineral, selenium aids in skin firmness and elasticity. It also promotes protection from free radicals when combined with Vitamin E.