Skin Protection, Healthy Holidays

Skin Protection, Healthy Holidays

IN THIS ISSUE: *The Face of Winter: How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months * Healthy Holidays * Easing Holiday Angst

The Face of Winter: How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months – by Barbara Hey

Winter can be tough on skin, but there’s much you can do to defend against the assaults of the season. The skin’s primary role — to protect the body — is ever more important in extreme weather, and in most locations, that means extreme cold outside and dry, over-heated air inside during the winter. Your epidermis must “weather” these drastic fluctuations in temperature, and often the result is chapped, scaly, flaky skin.

Facing the Frost

The biggest wintertime concern is dehydration. In colder climates, you definitely need to increase the protection quotient. “You must over-treat skin to keep it hydrated,” says Barbara Schumann-Ortega, vice president of Wilma Schumann Skin Care in Coral Gables, Florida. That means a shift from lighter skin care products used during warmer months to winter-weight products, such as thicker, cream-based cleansers and moisturizers. These will provide stronger barriers against the harsh environment of winter months. And this is especially important for the face. And if much time is spent outdoors skiing, snowboarding, or walking, for example, your complexion needs heavy-duty protection from brisk wind and winter sun as well.

“People often forget about sunscreen in the winter,” says Schumann-Ortega. For regular outdoor time — a few hours a day — a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 should be sufficient. But if a winter trip on the slopes or shore is part of the plan, sunscreen with a higher protective factor is needed, even if your time is spent beneath an umbrella. “Both snow and sand reflect the sun,” she says, so don’t be caught unprepared. Double your efforts to protect the parts of the …Click here for complete newsletter:  Winter 2010a