Winter Skin Care

Top 10 Tips for Radiant Skin This Winter

Now more than ever, we must face the effects of the environment on our skin. Pollution, the diminishing ozone, and unpredictable temperatures may cause changes to skin that require additional care.

During winter, in particular, the elements have these effects on skin:

1. Reduced humidity and lack of moisture in the air may leave skin dry;

2. Colder temperatures constrict blood flow to the surface and may cause flakiness;

3. Forced heat causes low humidity and increased evaporative water loss from skin, leading to excessive dryness;

4. Windy conditions cause more evaporative water loss from skin and possible chaffing;

5. Eating too many high carbohydrate foods, while comforting, may contribute to gut inflammation that may lead to skin irritation. An excess of these foods may also increase hormone imbalance and result in increased skin oil production that may lead to acne.

Hydrate internally by eating water-rich foods that stay in your body longer  

Top 10 Tips to help keep skin beautiful and radiant during winter

As a plastic surgeon who believes in a holistic approach to beauty, I submit that healthy skin responds best to the needle or the scalpel, and is a sign of wellness. I recommend these top ten tips to help keep skin beautiful and radiant during winter:

1. Exfoliate gently twice per week;

2. Change moisturizer to a thicker one and consider adding 2-3 drops of a refined facial or an essential oil;

3. Use a humidifier in your bedroom and/or the room(s) in which you spend the most time;

4. Use lip balm;

5. Avoid hot water on the skin—it may be drying and may increase redness;

6. Hydrate internally by eating water-rich foods that stay in your body longer as well as simply drink more water (1.5-2 liters per day). Try (organic) vegetables like lettuce, cauliflower, and spinach, and (organic) fruit such as oranges and grapefruit;

7. Minimize stress and manage it frequently - to help reduce signs of premature aging on skin;

8. For diets deficient in whole nutrition, add supplements to help hydrate internally: hyaluronic acid (HA), omega-3 fatty acids; add selenium and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Take probiotics to support gut health and microbiome, and vitamins to support immune system: vitamins B12, C, D, and E.

9. Maintain a consistent exercise routine to help keep circulation flowing to deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body;

10. Tone down the toxins. Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics and chemicals, and instead use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin, if any at all.

Written by Shirley Madhere, MD

Dr. Madhere is an Ivy League trained plastic surgeon, published author, speaker and blogger. Her focus on healthy beauty and her holistic approach to plastic surgery has been featured on Dr. Oz and in publications such as Cosmopolitan and in The Oprah Magazine.