With winter quickly approaching, it is important to know how to properly care for your skin during the chilly winter months. The change of seasons can be very stressful on your skin, especially when going from warmer summer months to cold, windy, and drier winters. This transition most commonly makes your skin look dull and older than its years, but it can also spur flare-ups of skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Decreased temperatures mean a drop-in humidity levels, taking moisture not only out of the air, but also out of your skin. 

One of the biggest mistakes people make with the change of seasons is neglecting to adjust their skin care routine, if they even have one in the first place. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make to prevent the stress of wintry weather from affecting your skin:

Maintain a Healthy, Balanced Diet – The best high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables will help feed your skin from the inside out and keep it looking its youngest most beautiful best. Since dry winter weather robs your skin of moisture, it’s important to increase your intake of water and other fluids. Avoid caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee, which can have a diuretic effect. Some studies have also shown that dietary fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 may help dry skin by replenishing your skin’s natural oils, so consider incorporating these foods and supplements into your diet.

Don’t Crank Up the Heat – Turning up the heat indoors seems like a natural response to chilly winter weather, but raising the thermostat indoors dries the air and skin out even more. The result is dry, flaky skin that is itchy and uncomfortable.

Start Using a Humidifier – To remedy a dry home, bring in a humidifier and set humidity level between 45% and 55% to infuse the air with enough moisture for you skin to reap the benefits.

Take Warm (NOT Hot!) Showers – A long hot shower may feel heavenly on cold mornings, but it strips out the water and natural oils in your skin, thus drying it out. Limit showers to 15-minutes or less, using warm water, rather than hot water.

Avoid Harsh Soap – Deodorant and antibacterial soaps can be especially harsh on your skin, compromising your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Instead, opt for mild, fragrance-free cleansers.

Don’t Ditch the SPF – So, you won’t see sunny skies as much—that doesn’t mean that UV rays have gone away. UV rays are almost just as powerful in overcast skies and the winter sun can reflect off the snow, particularly at high altitudes, so make sure you maintain a good sunscreen routine. 

Don’t let cold, winter weather take a toll on your skin. Start planning your winter skin care routine now. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy in Phoenix, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website. Dr. Holy can analyze your skin type and recommend a winter skin care routine just for you.