Winter can be hard on your skin, but there are several ways to deal with those challenges, a dermatologist says.
If you skin gets drier in the winter, use oil-based ointments and creams that tend to be more moisturizing and less irritating that water-based lotions, suggested Dr. Nicole Burkemper, an associate professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University.
People with dry skin on the face should avoid harsh peels, masks, alcohol-based toners or astringents that can strip oil from the skin, Burkemper said in a university news release. Products with alpha-hydroxy and retinoid can also worsen dry facial skin, she added.
For dry lips, plain petroleum jelly is an effective and cheap way to prevent chapping, Burkemper said.
When having a bath or shower, she recommends closing the bathroom door to trap humidity, and limiting baths or showers to 5 to 10 minutes. Use warm, rather than hot water and a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. And blot your skin dry with a towel, and apply moisturizer immediately after you dry your skin.
When outside, protect exposed skin with sunscreen, Burkemper said. “Gloves are important, and leather gloves hold in warmth better than cloth or woven gloves,” Burkemper added. “You should also remove wet gloves and socks as soon as possible since the moisture can actually worsen dry, irritated skin.”
If you have dry skin on your hands, apply moisturizing cream after washing your hands, she said.
“If dry, itchy skin does not respond to the above recommendations, see a dermatologist,” Burkemper said. “Severe dry skin may need a prescription ointment or cream, and dry skin may be a sign of a skin condition that needs medical treatment.”
Good general recommendations. However, what Dr. Burkemper failed to mention is that over 50% of skin lotions contain estrogen. Don’t bother looking on the label, it won’t be listed as an ingredient.
Estrogen attracts water, so it makes your skin look smoother and less wrinkled as the water moves into the skin from the blood and surrounding tissues. Estrogen is also common in men’s aftershave lotions and in deodorants. I’ve had a couple cases of high estrogen in young men this past year traced back to their skin care products. These college kids had lost all drive and motivation for both school and life.
Look for products that are organic and paraben free. Avoid sunscreens that contain 4-MBC. In fact, avoid sunscreens whenever possible. Instead, wear sun protective clothing with rated protection values when exposed to the sun for long periods of time. However, try to get a little real sunshine every day. Early morning and later afternoon sun will still promote vitamin D production (vital to the immune system) without creating the damage caused by the full strength of the sun at noon.
The Bottom Line:
Remove estrogen containing products from you cosmetics. Lotions, creams, and deodorants are the biggest offenders.
Source: February 20, 2016 National Institutes of Health