Whether you live in a hot or cold environment, your skin feels the effects of extreme temperatures. While both searingly hot and frigidly cold climates damage your skin, they do so in different ways
Cold wind and a lack of moisture create the conditions which deeply disrupt your skin’s natural oil production and moisture retention. If you don’t compensate for the lack of moisture in the air, you’ll have a lack of moisture in your skin – leading to wrinkles, and fine lines.
Cold weather and the resulting dryness in the air and skin can result in rashes on the knees and elbows, or in worse circumstances, eczema.
While we’re young, cold weather may seem not to effect us as much as when we’re older, but damage going on under the skin that can’t be seen lays the foundations for wrinkles and further damage as we age.
Doing yourself a favor and adapting your skin health routine to whichever climate you’re in will help keep your skin beautiful and healthy for longer.
Shaking off the cold
This first section of skin-saving techniques involve the laws of thermodynamics and biological thermo-regulation.
Thermo-regulation describes the processes by which our body maintains our internal core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. These processes include…
- Pumping blood away from and back into the major organs
- Pumping blood into the extremities
In a cold environment, many common activities enjoyed by those seeking to shake off the cold result in dry, irritated skin. Avoiding or minimizing these activities can be tricky because the desire for warmth is powerful.
- Sitting in front of a space heater or heat vent
- Taking a long hot shower
- Wear plenty of soft layers to keep the heat your body generates, rather than bathing in dry air from a machine that sucks the moisture out of the air and your skin
- Take short, medium temp showers. Long hot water will cause dry irritated skin after you dry off
The key is mentioned in the third bullet. Staying warm and keeping your skin healthy has more to do with trapping the heat your body creates rather than using machines to keep you warm.
Skin products in the cold
–If you normally use soap in the shower, you should use some without scent or a long list of ingredients. Homeopathic soaps like pine tar soaps are ideal. You could also use shower gel instead.
The reason for this is that many normal bars of soap often contain ingredients and fragrances that can cause irritation and worsen dry skin.
–Moisturize your skin immediately a shower. How water , as mentioned earlier, can strip your skin of natural oils, so try to replace any lost moisture as quickly as possible. Avoid furiously rubbing your skin dry with a towel, as it can cause irritation.
This is especially important for your hands. Since they’re the furthest away from your heart, they receive the least amount of moisture and blood.
–Generally, it’s safe to double the amount of exfoliating sessions you fit into your normal skin care routine. Your skin will accumulate more dead and flaky skin cells than in a moist balmy climate, so exfoliating is a little more necessary than normal.
–Lip balm is a simple must-have for cold weather. Full stop.
— Since cold weather scours the natural oils for your body, replacing them exogenously with natural oil like coconut oil and body butter can work wonders on dry skin, especially products formulated to dry down well so you are left moisturized but not greasy.
Argan oil and jojoba oil are incredibly nourishing for your skin in these environments. You’ll notice how quickly your skin drinks in body oils.
Drink a lot of water, and consider investing in a humidifier.
Follow all of this information and you’ll clear cold climate with your skin as plump and soft as a freshly fallen snow drift!