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Houston Winter Skin Care Tips

Houston Winter Skin Care Tips

As anyone who lives in Houston knows, the winter months can be unpredictable.

As we start to head into the colder season, it’s important to have a few winter skin care tips in your arsenal to help keep your skin looking as healthy and beautiful as possible. 

Here are a few of our favorite ways to support your skin as the temperature starts to drop — don’t let dry winter skin win this year!

1. Update your skin care routine on a seasonal basis

Everyone’s skin is unique in terms of what it needs to stay looking and feeling its best. That means your skin care routine should adapt and change as you do — not just through different phases of your life, but also seasonally. 

While it doesn’t get as cold in Houston as it does in other parts of the country, declining temperatures often come with colder, blowing winds. Both temperature and wind can significantly impact skin health and wellness. The colder the temps and the faster the wind blows, the more damage it can do to your protective moisture barrier

Because of the additional need to support and protect your skin barrier, the way you cleanse and moisturize your skin needs to change during this season, too. Winter weather requires a stronger, more hydrating skin care routine. 

One thing you can do is switch to a heavier moisturizer made with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, like our Recovery Lotion, when your skin needs that extra boost of hydration. You can also switch up your cleanser and serums for more moisturizing alternatives (just keep an eye on your pores to ensure they aren’t getting clogged).

Don’t leave your lips out, either — they’re just as prone to cold-related dryness as the rest of your skin. Lip balm is crucial for keeping your lips kissably soft all year round. 

2. Turn down the heat

We know there isn’t much better than hot showers or baths, especially on a cold winter day. But turning the temperature up too high can start to work against your skin. Keeping your water temp closer to the lukewarm side when washing your face or bathing can help prevent the breakdown of your moisture barrier. 

This is because your skin's outermost protective layer is made up of a combination of molecules — mainly lipids and proteins. Similar to when you’re washing dishes, hot water is more effective at breaking down these molecules and natural oils, essentially rinsing them right off the skin.

When your moisture barrier is compromised, your skin will look and feel less than healthy. Often, people start to notice that their usual skin care products will burn when they put them on their faces. 

Flaky skin, tightness, irritation and redness are also signs of a compromised skin barrier, which you should address as soon as you notice them. When your skin barrier isn’t as strong as it should be, it leaves your skin vulnerable to many outside influences — impacting your appearance and your skin’s health and wellness. 

3. Don’t stop wearing sunscreen

Just because it’s not 100 degrees outside doesn’t mean you can stop wearing sunscreen. UV radiation can impact the skin year-round, so it’s important to continue to protect yourself no matter the temperature. The effects of chronic exposure to UV rays include premature signs of aging (more visible fine lines and wrinkles and thinner, less radiant skin).

Consider a broad-spectrum tinted option like 100% Mineral Tinted SPF in the colder months. Not only does it provide hydration, which your skin needs more than even in the winter, but the tint also helps to cover up some of the natural redness that can occur as a reaction to cold weather and wind.

4. Exfoliate (but not too much)

Exfoliating is one of the best things you can do for your skin — not just in the winter, but all year round. However, how you exfoliate should also adapt to seasonal changes.

Exfoliating is one of the most effective ways to remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface. However, exfoliating can also take a lot out of your skin, especially if you’re new to it. While exfoliating can help reveal newer, younger-looking skin cells, it also takes your skin time to bounce back.

In the winter, when the weather can cause more irritation to your skin, it’s important to pay attention to how your skin is reacting. If your usual routine leaves you with dry, sensitive skin, you can reduce the number of days per week that you exfoliate or switch to a different product.

You may want to switch from a physical scrub to a chemical exfoliant like retinol. Layering on a hydrating serum and supportive restoring moisturizer afterward is also strongly recommended. You can also use fragrance-free cleansers and body washes to help minimize the appearance of irritation, flaking and redness.

5. Try a humidifier

Although most houses here in Houston have furnaces, they don’t get turned on all that often. However, during those cold winter nights, turning them on may be the only way to stay comfortable. 

If you find yourself turning your indoor heat on more regularly (even if it’s just a space heater), we also strongly recommend investing in a small humidifier. The skin requires a certain amount of humidity (between 30 and 50 percent for most people), and the drier air naturally created by indoor heating systems doesn’t do it any favors. Humidifiers can help ease the skin concerns that may come up because of this issue.

Dry air can also be a trigger for flare-ups of certain dry skin conditions. If you’re unsure whether a humidifier is suitable for your specific skin type or concerns, take a look at the research — you might be surprised to hear how helpful they can be!

Just make sure that you clean your humidifier regularly. Because of the moisture, an unclean humidifier can be a magnet for mold. Empty your humidifier when it’s not in use and follow manufacturer directions for the frequency and specifics of cleaning it appropriately. Cold air humidifiers are often considered to be slightly more safe, especially if you have pets or small children around the home.

The bottom line...

Winter may look and feel different in Houston, but having a few winter skin care tips under your belt can help keep your skin healthy throughout the season. Adapting your skin care regimen to changes in weather gives your skin exactly what it needs, no matter what’s going on outside. 

Up your healthy skin care game by stopping into our Houston med spa for products, treatments and advice catered to your skin's needs. We’d love to help you create the perfect routine — book a skin consult with us to get started! 

Sources:

Effects of temperature and wind on facial temperature, heart rate, and sensation | PubMed

Understanding the Epidermal Barrier in Healthy and Compromised Skin: Clinically Relevant Information for the Dermatology Practitioner | PMC

UV Radiation and the Skin | PMC

Photoaging (Sun Damage) > Fact Sheets | Yale Medicine

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