Michigan families bundle up and venture outdoors to brave the subzero temperatures and experience Michigan’s Winter Wonderland. Whether you are a skier, snowboarder, hunter, ice fisherman, snowmobiler, ice skater, or just love playing outside in the snow, outside elements combined with the blasting indoor heat can wreak havoc on the whole family’s skin. For every fond memory of a surprise Snow Day spent playing outside in the snow building snowmen, sledding down hills, making snow angels, and having epic snowball fights, there are just as many wind-burned cheeks, chapped lips, cracked hands, and dry, itchy skin. A few simple adjustments to your home environment and daily routines will help to keep everyone’s skin healthy and hydrated all winter long.
A few simple adjustments to your home environment and daily routines
will help to keep your family’s skin healthy and hydrated all winter long.
Moisturize Daily with the Right Products for Your Skin Type
Whether your skin is dry or oily (or a combination of both), winter’s cold and dry air will take its toll and make daily moisturizing even more necessary. Without the right skin care routine, dry skin can appear dull, flaky and can feel itchy or tight to the touch. Directly after a bath or shower, apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture. Be sure to select a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. Children cannot regulate body heat as effectively as adults and are more affected by seasonal changes. As the weather gets colder, your family may benefit from more frequent applications of moisturizer and switching from thinner lotions to thicker barrier creams, ointments, or oils to keep skin hydrated.
Keep Your Lips Soft & Supple
Remember to moisturize your lips several times throughout the day. During the winter months, dry, indoor air coupled with unconsciously licking your lips can cause them to become chapped, cracked, and bleed. Keep a petrolatum-based lip balm or moisturizing lip gloss handy and re-apply throughout the day.Bath Time
Do not use hot water for bathing – it removes your natural skin oils more quickly. Warm water is best for bathing. Soaps can strip oils from the skin, so use gentle cleansers such as a mild, fragrance-free soap or a soap substitute that moisturizes. Avoid skin products containing alcohol like toners, astringents, and hand sanitizers that remove essential oils from the skin. Limit time in the bathtub or shower to 5-10 minutes. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started. Do not bathe more than once a day.
Humidify Your Home
Lower the temperature on your thermostat and use a humidifier. An inexpensive alternative is to put a shallow pan of water near a heating source or use a vaporizer.
When the threat of colds and the flu are heightened, it’s important to wash your hands frequently. While this reduces the chance of picking up and spreading germs, it promotes dry, cracked skin. Thicker creams and ointments last longer and are great for soothing chapped, cracked hands and other extra-dry body parts, such as elbows and feet.
Keeping your family’s skin soft and supple all winter long can take a few extra minutes of care each day, but when you avoid the chapping, dryness and discomfort that can accompany the cold and wind of winter, you’ll be glad you spent the extra time. ♦