Dr. Lubitz: Warm weather doesn’t lessen skin’s importance

Dr. Paul Lubitz: “warm winter doesn’t lessen skin’s importance”

The unseasonably warm fall and early winter has caused many to fall behind in their winter skin care maintenance. With temperatures forecasted to continue to dip below or hover around zero in the mountain regions over the next few weeks, the time has never been better to pay attention to a winter skin care regimen.

Most of us know of the importance of gentle skin exfoliating and moisturizing. However, both are particularly important during winter months for reasons you may not have even thought of. Exfoliating sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving smooth, healthy skin that’s free to breathe and soak in moisturizer. Experts recommend using a gentle exfoliant at least twice a week during the winter (November through March) to prevent dead skin build up.

While exfoliating is a crucial pre-moisturizer routine that ensures maximum absorption of moisturizer, many of us don’t realize there is a small window of time when it is paramount to apply an appropriate moisturizer. While the majority of us dry our faces completely before applying our moisturizing creams and gels, dermatologists actually warn against this. Instead, dermatologists recommend that moisturizers be applied to damp skin within three minutes after washing and cleansing your face.

“Wait any longer and moisture starts to disappear from skin before you can lock it in,” Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, told Allure Magazine.

Locking in as much skin moisture as possible is crucial during winter months and will prevent chapping, cracked and bleeding skin.

In addition to moisturizing damp skin, sunscreen is another skin care must for the winter. People often forget that the sun’s rays are just as powerful during colder months as during the summer. Thus, the skin needs to be protected from harmful rays year round.

Dermatologist Dr. Paul Lubitz, who runs Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery in Canmore, Canada, advises all his patients to add sunscreen to their daily skin care routine. “Sunscreen is just as important in the winter for the obvious skin protection reasons. But, also winter skin is oftentimes more sensitive and paler and therefore more susceptible to the sun’s harsh UV,” explained Dr. Paul Lubitz.

The Alberta-based dermatologist also reinforces the benefits of drinking lots of water. “Hydration is fundamental to maintaining skin health”. Dr. Lubitz continued, “I also tell my patients to eat pomegranates, which are full of antioxidants that improve the blood flow to the face.”

Walnuts, soy, yogurt, oatmeal and green tea are also excellent at soothing, repairing and protecting the skin especially in the winter. “Walnuts contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can improve skin’s elasticity,” David Bank, a dermatologist in New York, told Fitness Magazine. “The nuts are also loaded with copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production.”

Last but not least, do not forget your lips and scalp. The cold weather can dry out your lips and scalp and in the worst case scenario can lead to dryness, cracking and bleeding. Applying a lip balm or ointment generously will protect lips from harsh winds and hot beverages.

For the scalp, an intense conditioner with deep moisturizing qualities will prevent your scalp from getting dry and flaky and keep your hair shiny and healthy. Hats worn in the winter not only protect the hair and scalp from the cold and dry air, but also protect the scalp skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

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