Skin Needs Special Care During Cold Weather

Your body has a sophisticated system for survival.  Internal organs function best when they are at 98.6. When the temperature changes, blood vessels constrict to reduce heat escaping. The brain sends signals to rush warmth to vital organs taking heat away from the skin, fingers, toes, nose, and face.  When muscles contract, heat releases.  If your extremities seem cold, exercise to bring your body temperature up so blood vessels relax and more heat is carried to the skin. 

Cold weather has a lower humidity than what we are accustomed to.  The outer layer of the skin loses cells more easily causing abrasion and inflammation. You may also notice increased wrinkling. During cold weather, apply moisturizers multiple times during the day.  Snow reflects 80% more radiation than normal; apply sunscreen to protect from UVA/UVB damage.  If you ski, you’ve noticed other skiers with what appears to be a sunburn.  The skin without protection, is damaged by the cold as well UVA/UVB rays. 

Lips become especially susceptible to cold damage because they are actually considered membranes.  Use exfoliants made for the lips to speed removal of dead cells and then apply emollient lipstick or conditioners.  Reapply throughout the day and just before bedtime. 

Use warm, not hot water for bathing or washing hands.  Hot water dries the skin. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing which can irritate the skin.  Immediately apply body moisturizer and hand cream.  Be sure to massage cuticle oil or hand cream at the base of the fingernails.  

Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 S. Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive.  979 268 0608, www.fitzyou.com