Winter is here! While California winters aren’t quite as harsh as other areas of the country, it’s still important to make sure your skin is well cared for during seasonal changes. That’s especially true this year, as meteorologists predict a dry, warm winter in California.
Dr. Brian P. Mekelburg is dedicated to helping his patients achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful skin all year long. As temperatures dip and nights get longer, here are five tips for winterizing your skin.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
Hydration plays an important part in keeping your body healthy and your skin is no different. Keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated during the winter months helps promote natural rejuvenation, healing, and protection.
Because winter weather can be especially drying, using heavier moisturizing products like creams and butters is recommended. Their thicker formula helps the skin retain moisture longer, keeping your skin plump, supple and strong.
Avoid Campfires and Hot Showers
Spending time around a campfire with friends and family sounds like a great way to spend a cool, California winter evening, but you should be careful. The warmth may feel great, but it can be drying. The smoke exposure can also damage skin as the airborne pollutants clog pores and cause irritation. A California study found that even short-term exposure to smoke can damage the skin’s natural barriers.
Hot showers should also be avoided as much as possible. The drying effects of the water’s temperature can exacerbate existing skin conditions like eczema. They also strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause flaking, itchiness, and cracking.
Limit Products That Strip the Skin
Speaking of stripping the skin, take a close look at the products you use as part of your winter skin care routine. Astringent products that include exfoliants and other skin stripping ingredients should be used sparingly or avoided entirely if possible.
These products can destroy natural protective skin barriers, increase dryness, acne, and cause flare ups of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Instead, use gentler cleansers and deep penetration serums to help support your skin’s health and healing.
Don’t Skip the Sun Screen
The sun is still harmful to the skin even if it’s not too hot out. With relatively balmy winters here in California, it can be easy to forget to apply sunscreen. However, even on cool, overcast days, harmful UV rays can still cause significant damage including sunburns.
While most people don’t consider sunburns a serious medical issue, they can be: just five sunburns in your lifetime can double your odds of developing melanoma.
Schedule Your Annual Skin Exam
Winter isn’t the time to skip out on important health checks. This includes an annual skin exam with your dermatologist. In fact, winter weather changes may make symptoms of previously undiagnosed skin conditions (including skin cancer) more evident.
With a highly trained and experienced dermatologist like Dr. Brian P. Mekelburg, your annual skin exam is quick, painless, and thorough. Over 30 years of practice means Dr. Mekelburg is skilled in identifying even the earliest signs of a potential issue, which is vital for successful treatment.
If you haven’t had your annual skin exam yet, contact us now to schedule one. Depending on the terms of your insurance, you may be able to get your annual exam at no cost to you!