To stay healthy, skin needs more than hats, gloves and coats as layers of protection from the cold weather. The colder weather and wind brings a lack of moisture outside and in that can cause cracking, chapping, irritation and skin conditions such as eczema. Most importantly, the winter months require staying diligent about sun safety.
Do List for Winter Skin
• Do moisturize: Moisturizer helps protects against the harsh elements. It’s best to apply moisturizer directly after a bath or shower to help seal in and replenish the skin with the necessary water and oils.
• Do pamper the hands: Wearing gloves is a simple, easy way to help protect hands from the cold temperatures and dry air that trigger eczema. Nails also can become brittle; gloves also help eliminate cracked and splitting cuticles and nails.
Don't List for Winter Skin
• Don’t forget the sunscreen: Since the snow reflects sunlight, the ultraviolet rays of the sun during the winter are still strong. Participating in winter recreational activities without applying sunscreen may result in severe burns.
• Don’t forget about the lips: One recent study shows that only 6 percent of Americans are aware that ultraviolet rays can cause lip cancer. The study also revealed that men in North America have a five to 10 times greater incidence of lip cancer than women. During the winter months, men and women alike should apply lipblocks or lipsticks that contain a high sun protection factor (SPF).
• Don’t take long hot showers: While everyone enjoys basking a long hot shower, the hot water can strip the skin of its natural elements – contributing to dry skin. Instead, use lukewarm water for a shorter period of time.
As dry, cooler air arrives, skin may lose precious moisture. Autumn also provides an opportunity to recover from the summer toll on the skin left by sun, chlorine and saltwater.
Do list for autumn skin
• Do exfoliate and moisturize: It’s best to apply moisturizer directly after a bath or shower to help seal in and replenish the skin with the necessary water and oils.
• Do protect your lips. Continue to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But also start moisturizing now to prevent dry, cracked lips this winter.
• Switch from lotion to cream. As the air becomes drier, skin needs a thicker moisturizer. Creams provide a stronger oily barrier to provide hydration.
• Invest in hand cream. Hands often become dry and cracked during the winter. Start moisturizing hands now to ensure soft and healthy hands all winter long.
Don’t list for autumn skin
• Don’t forget the sunscreen: Even though the temperatures seem cooler and the days shorter, children and adults should continue to apply sunscreen before heading out.
When the weather warms up and everyone can enjoy the outdoors or working in the yard again, there are still some important things to know that can potentially save skin from sun damage.
Do list for spring skin
• Do know your skin type: Depending on the pigment of skin, the likelihood of burning in the sun can vary and so should the level of SPF in sunscreen lotion. For example, if you are fair-skinned with freckles, your skin is more sensitive to UV rays. Visit your dermatologic surgeon annually for screening of your skin to determine what precautions need to take place.
Don’t list for spring skin
• Don’t forget the sunscreen: Even though the temperatures are just warming up, children and adults should continue to liberally apply sunscreen before heading outside. Some states require children to obtain a doctor’s note in order to re-apply sunscreen at school or daycamp.
Remember that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. A tan means the skin has been damaged.
Do list for summer skin
• Do use sunscreen daily. No matter what skin type you have or how your body reacts to the sun, you should always wear an SPF sunscreen. About one ounce (a shot glass full for your entire body) of sunscreen should be reapplied two or three times a day. People don’t realize they can still get burned in cooler climates or when they’re not in direct sunlight or even on cloudy days.
• Do wear protective clothing. In addition to wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, a growing body of research shows that a variety of everyday apparel, such as unbleached cotton or tightly woven t-shirts or shorts offer excellent sun protection. Additionally, there is also high-SPF clothing which contains colorless compounds, fluorescent brighteners or specially treated resins that absorb UV rays and often provides an SPF of 30 or higher.
Don't list for summer skin
• Don’t expose yourself to sunlight if there is a dramatic change to the skin. Skin discoloration, a changing mole and a rough red patch are all early signs of skin cancer. If you notice any of these, you should visit a dermatologic surgeon who is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat skin cancer. To find a dermatologic surgeon in your area, click here.
• Don’t think that a burn ends with aloe vera. Aloe vera is only a temporary relief for sunburn and does not decrease your chance of skin damage. Skin cancer develops slowly over time. With each sunburn you get, your chance of developing skin cancer increases. It can take years for a burn to turn into a cancerous spot on the skin.
• Don’t sunbathe. Even taking breaks to swim or go for a snack while sunbathing only soothes hot skin and does not prevent a burn. Sunburn is accumulated from the whole day; the only way to prevent exposure is to stay in the shade.