Recharge Medical Blog

Recharge Medical
Philippe T. Nguyen

Philippe T. Nguyen, MD
Chief Medical Officer

How to keep your skin moist in winter

IV drip containing fruits and vegetables

Winter is horrible for your skin. Humidity is usually lower in winter, and therefore the air is drier and harsher for your skin. This is the time when people have dry, itchy skin that can develop irritation and cracks, exposing your body to infection. I recommend these five simple things to keep your skin nice, plump, and healthy for the holidays.

  1. Exfoliate only twice a week.
    When you have dry skin, it reacts by doing either of the following: get more oily or get thicker to protect itself. People see this and think, “my skin is so oily, I need to dry it out and exfoliate more.” This is counterintuitive since the more you remove the oils, the more your oil glands will just produce more oils to keep your skin moist, and you will be caught in a vicious cycle. On the other hand, your skin can also react by getting thicker and rougher. So naturally, people want to remove the dead skin by increasing exfoliation. Again, this can be counterproductive as the more you remove the top part of the skin, it will get rougher as it re-thickens. Obviously, you do not want to leave unattractive, dry dead skin, so it is okay to exfoliate about twice a week. When you exfoliate, use either glycolic or lactic acid for its moisturizing properties.

  2. Moisturize daily.
    This is of utmost importance. Moisturizer covers and protects your skin from moisture loss. It replaces natural oils that you wash off with daily showering so your oil glands do not overproduce and make your skin shiny at the end of the day. This also will keep the skin from appearing thick, rough, and fatigued.

  3. Hydrate your skin from within.
    Drink plenty of water. Most people need about six to ten glasses of water per day. How much is enough for you? Just drink enough so that your urine is a pale yellow. If your urine is dark yellow and has a strong odor, then increase your water intake by two glasses per day. This will prevent your skin from being too oily or dry and rough due to thirst. If you cannot drink that much water during the day, supplement your diet with whole fruits and vegetables to get some moisture in you.

  4. Always wear sunscreen.
    Even though the sun is not as strong, there is still sun. Obviously when you go skiing, the sun can be more harsh than the summer sun on the beach as you are closer to the sun. And just like the sun from reflection off the water on the beach, the reflective rays from the snow contributes to the photo-aging process. Even for everyday activities, the sun and temperature damage will contribute to rougher skin. Continue wearing Sunscreen, even if the sun isn’t out as 60% of the sun’s harmful rays can go through clouds.

  5. Avoid too many hot showers.
    Hot showers during the winter feels great, but it is not so great for your skin. Your natural oil protection is even more removed, leaving your skin prone to dryness. Use warm water only. If you want to stay warm in the bathroom, use a heater instead.

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