When winter arrives…
The skin is the most extensive organ of our body, the first barrier of defense and the mirror of what happens inside. The skin protects us from heat, cold, sunlight, wounds and infections. It helps us regulate body temperature, preserves water and fat, and produces vitamin D… among its many functions.
But the skin is not static. Numerous external and internal factors cause our skin to manifest variably.
And one of those external factors by which the skin can be altered is when the cold arrives and winter approaches. Long nights, short days, when the body asks for soups, stews and a good stove, the skin can suffer from dryness and irritation, especially those skins that are fine, sensitive and delicate.
Dry environments, the lower blood flow of the skin as a result of cold temperatures … makes the protective barrier of the skin (the tegument) to have less sebum (which lubricates the skin and protects it from dehydration) and hence the skin is paler, with less vitality, and sometimes it can suffer showing signs of dryness and tightness.
With age these feelings can increase, we could say we are “drying”, since the activity of the sebaceous glands is reduced as a result of hormonal changes.
Also, and where we have less sebaceous glands such as arms, legs, soles of the foot, palms of the hand, lips… the dryness can be accentuated.
Since our goal is to maintain the skin barrier intact and therefore a balanced skin, we propose the following cares:
- Better the shower than the bath, with warm water. Hot foam baths can dry the skin… Use soap moderately, and use one that is enriched with lipid-restoring agents. Better, not too sparking, and without colorants and aromas.
- Use a moisturizer that has in its composition fatty acids related to our skin, after the shower to protect those parts of your body where the dryness is usually accentuated, such as the arms and legs.
- You may need to add a few drops of oil (first cold pressure vegetable oils) to the facial moisturizer to provide greater protection on the face, more exposed to cold and wind. It slows down evaporation and the water stays longer in the tissues. If you are going to practice winter sports and the environment is very cold, it is more advisable to use a balm than a cream during the day, as it is richer. In addition, ensure they have sunscreen.
- At night, after cleansing and toning, use a serum rich in active ingredients. In situations where the environment is dry and cold, and if you notice the skin dry and tight, it may be convenient to apply a few drops of oil by gentle touches on the skin, after the application of the serum.
- Take care of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, they lack sebaceous glands. Use a moisturizer, rich in unrefined vegetable oils. Protect your hands before going out into a cold and dry environment.
- Take care of the lips, preferably with ointments that carry natural vegetable fats, similar to those of the skin and that allow it to perspire. Among its ingredients, shea butter and / or cocoa are good choices. And with sunscreen. Mineral oils give a false sensation of hydration (they extract the water) and do not allow the skin to perspire. Do not moist the lips with saliva …
- If you have dry skin, peelings are not advisable. They could damage your protective barrier.
- Moisturize the ends of the hair with a specific oil if it is rough and brittle. Before washing, put a few drops in the hair, cover it with a warm towel and wash the hair after letting it act for 15 to 20 minutes; or mix a few drops with the usual shampoo. You can also put a few drops of oil directly in your hair for more hydration.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature, which can cause the blood vessels to dilate and produce redness.
- Avoid factors that favor free radicals and therefore, oxidative stress: tobacco, sun, stress, extreme sports … Drink lots of water; increase the intake of vegetables and seasonal fruits, mix colors and cook them at home, as they will provide you with many antioxidants. Also consume oily fish, rich in omega 3 and reduce foods with added sugars. Diet and lifestyle will undoubtedly help you to have a shinier skin with greater vitality.