BRRRRRR…. If it’s cold and windy … you have to change your skin care routine! Even if its April!!! See below for some of my favorite tips to share
TIP 1: Don’t skip the SPF!
Many assume that “sunscreen” is to protect from the warmth of the sun. Temperature does not matter! UV radiation comes from the sun and can cause sunburns and even skin cancer in the cold! Ever go skiing and come home looking like the beach? NEW research also shows that higher SPFs may provide better protection. Year-round protection is something always recommended by dermatologists. It’s also part of the reason why dermatologists seem to age slower …. MY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH FORMULA!
TIP 2: Moisturize differently
Windy and cold weather will dry the skin more effectively, which is what you don’t want. Add to this the Hard Water that is typical in the Northern cities and you have a recipe for skin problems: dry, itchy, rough, maybe even rashy. The best way to moisturize is actually using thick, heavy creams (something we call “emollients”). You will need something that you scoop out of a jar, not something you pump out of a bottle. So lotion is not going to cut it! Neither is coconut oil or Shea butter. Sure those are thick when you scoop them out, but once in contact with the heat from your skin, they turn to liquid quickly, making them less effective. Ready to go to the next level? Use those thick emollients when your skin is still damp! This will LOCK in the moisture to your skin and prevent water loss. We measure this feature in a lab with something called, trans epidermal water loss, or TEWL. Based on our lab experiments, we have found that thick emollients, like petroleum jelly are best.
Dr. Francis’ Top 5 emollients: Vaseline, CeraVe healing ointment, Aquaphor, Cetaphil cream, Aveeno eczema therapy. Available Here
TIP 3: Use gentle cleansers
The gentlest cleansers may not be advertised as “all natural” or “99.44% pure”. In fact, some of the most natural cleansers are actually quite hard on your skin. Why? Because pH is more important when considering how hard something is on your skin. Skin wants an acidic pH, closer to 5.5-6. Most soaps are very basic, with a pH closer to 9-10! The soap touting the “99.44% pure” is pure lye! It has a pH around 12! Very harsh!
Common Soaps most dermatologists advise avoiding: Ivory, Irish Springs, Castille Soap (check label, sodium hydroxide is typically added -this has a pH close to 14)
Dr. Francis’ Top 5 gentle cleansers: Dove, Cetaphil, CeraVe, Purpose, Basis. Available Here
TIP 4: Seal cracks with glue!
One of my favorite Winter HACKS … Crazy glue!
That’s right. Crazy glue. Cracked skin is open, which means that dirt, bacteria, allergens (things we are allergic to), and other irritants can easily get in. The more these get into our skin, the harder it is to heal. Those of us who suffer from this know that it can take FOREVER to heal on its own. Here’s the secret … the crack is the problem! So let’s fix it with a little glue. Our skin is our first line of protection against the environment … when it is intact, it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, etc. So we must repair our protection and seal the crack to break the vicious crack cycle. Glue does the trick! I know what you are thinking, glue is a harsh chemical, but guess what, many “skin glues” were actually developed to replace stitches. Crazy glue is one of those. The glue gives our skin a chance to heal – and once the crack is sealed, our skin is able to heal itself.
Have a question (or comment)? I have an answer. Leave me a message below. Let’s talk!