As a wise, strapping warrior once warned: "Winter is coming." But the White Walkers didn't prepare us for a time when winter seems to be here for good... like, uhh, in the spring. "As temperatures fall and the air gets drier, your skin pays the price," says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. In frigid conditions, he explains, the skin is less able to protect itself. "This can lead to cracks in the outer layer of skin, loss of hydration, and ultimately, inflammation," he says.
Many of us can benefit from a skin-care upgrade to combat blustery days like these. Both Dr. Zeichner and Dr. Jennifer MacGregor, MD, dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, suggest using thicker moisturizers equipped to protect the skin's barrier. Another skin saver? Kinder, gentler cleansers that hydrate (rather than harsh exfoliating or foam formulations), since skin irritation can increase along with dryness in colder weather.
Finally, an effort to hyper-hydrate and soothe the skin should never come at the cost of ditching daily sun protection. Sure, you may not be seeing as much of the sun, but UVA rays — the aging and cancer-causing rays that penetrate through windows and clouds, and into the deepest layer of skin — are still kicking, all day, every day.
As you continue to battle the elements, here’s how to keep your skin glowing.
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