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Dr. Paul Lubitz discusses: How Canadians can care for their skin year round

Dr Paul Lubitz – How Canadians can care for their skin year round

Living in Canada is amazing. Not only do we have universal healthcare, we also get to experience the natural wonder of all four seasons in a country of incredible physical beauty. From the cool breezes of spring with their promise of warmth, to the blankets of snow winter brings, Canadians get to experience it all.

While being able to enjoy every season in its full glory is a treat, constant weather fluctuations can be rough on one’s skin and make it more difficult to create and maintain an appropriate skin care regimen.

Despite each season offering its own distinct weather conditions, there are steps one can take to ensure one’s skin is beautiful and stays healthy year round.

Dr Paul Lubitz’s Skin Care Tips

Spring — The season of renewal is a great time to start prepping your skin for the summer months. Spring is also the perfect time to get out of that winter slump and start eating healthier.

I recommend you start spring by drinking plenty of water to moisturize your skin from the inside out. Drinking lots of water also helps to flush toxins out of the body and can increase improved organ function. Skin is 64 percent water so it is crucial you replenish it from the inside and the outside.

“If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to irritation and wrinkling,” notes the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health website.

Summer — The season of sun. It is crucial you protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun, as well as keep it hydrated over the summer months. A sunblock of at least 50 SPF should be applied to your skin every time you are going to experience prolonged sun exposure (ie greater than 20 minutes). It is even more important that you wear appropriate sunscreen and utilize sun protective clothing as much as possible if you live and play in geographical areas of increased UV risk. Areas of increased risk would include areas at higher altitude such as in the Bow Valley region of Alberta.

Protection is not only vital to keep skin beautiful, but it is imperative for its ability to help fend off dangerous skin cancers. According to the Skin ancer Foundation, “about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and about 86 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.”

Soothing moisturizers with aloe are also fantastic during the summer to keep skin in its best health.

Autumn — The season of change. The fall is a transitional season, when the weather can fluctuate from summer-like warmth to brisk winds with an arctic chill. Depending on where you live in the country will determine how you care for your skin in the fall. As always, lots of water is paramount. However, sun protection is also important during the fall. Sloughing off dead skin cells with a gentle exfoliant can aide in the skin’s seasonal transition.

You can also switch from a moisturizing lotion to a heavier cream at this point. As the air becomes drier, the skin is prone to drying out, and a thick cream can help prevent dryness, flaking and itching.

Winter — The coldest season of the year. Winter is also, by far, the harshest time for the skin, with things like dry, cold air drying and chapping delicate skin and sun and snow glare creating dangerous UV rays and skin damage.

For the wintertime, especially on sunny days (and everyday if you live in an area of high risk such as the Bow Valley), a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 is highly recommended. Protection during the winter also means covering up when possible; a good quality pair of sunglasses protects the eyes, and scarves are great to protect the soft skin of the face, lips and the neck which can prevent over drying and cracking.

To keep skin hydrated and protected a skin cream, ointment or body butter is a better choice than lotions. Regular bathing for 15 – 20 minutes in the winter is also a much better choice than showering if you find that your skin is more dry and irritated in the cold winter months. Follow your bath with a good quality moisturiser while your skin is still moist and you will find your skin much healthier, and happier in no time.

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