Winter weather is here—whether you like it or not. As if bomb-cyclone snowstorms aren’t stressful enough, cold weather often surfaces other challenges, like how to protect your skin. Dr. Karin Hermoni, the category manager at Lycored, calls out skin hydration as one of the most common. “As humidity levels drop during winter, we may suffer more from dry skin and the itchiness that comes with it,” she says. “Poor hydration can lead to dry and rough skin, which causes wrinkles and fine lines to become more apparent.”
“Our eyes might be the windows to our souls, but our skin is a mirror to our physical and emotional well-being,” Dr. Hermoni continues. “Rain or shine, it seems that our general health, our nutrition, our lifestyle and our emotional state are reflected in the way our skin looks.” She points out that the factors that cause your skin to age are similar, no matter the cause. “It’s all the same when it comes to your skin, be it environmental challenges like UV, pollution, smoke, or the result of endogenous challenges like stress or lack of sleep.” Here are her six tips to protect your skin this winter.
6 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Winter
1. Get an adequate amount of H20. “To keep your skin hydrated, drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods,” Dr. Hermoni advises. “Reach for fresh fruits and vegetables (or their juice) that provide ‘good for skin’ fluids.” Experts agree that drinking half an ounce to an ounce for each pound you weigh each day should do the trick. Not sure what your magic number is? Check out this handy hydration calculator to get a good guideline.
2. Cover up. Minimize your contact with extreme environments best you can and you’ll do wonders for your skin. “Use gloves to protect your hands and try to cover up when you’re in cold, windy weather,” Dr. Hermoni offers.
3. Use sunscreen. “During winter, we might look paler or lose our healthy glow, but it’s not because of a lack of sunshine,” Dr. Hermoni schools us. “The winter sun (especially when combined with snow glare) is still responsible for UV exposure, which is the number one preventable cause of skin aging.” Who knew?
4. Make smart nutritional changes. Stock up on smart nutritional swaps and skip the tanning salons and sprays—turns out, the color you can get from eating well is more attractive than a suntan. “Phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables can enhance and highlight our natural glow while offering protection from a strong winter sun,” Dr. Hermoni promises. “For example, the red pigment that gives a tomato its vibrant color has been proven in several scientific studies to protect skin from UV damage; other carotenoids also present in the tomato include phytoene and phytofluene which are colorless carotenoids as well as beta carotene (prevalent in carrots as well as in green vegetables) have been shown to provide a protective effect.”
5. Taste the rainbow. Dr. Hermoni says that eating a combination of different natural phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables and spices is a great way to care for your skin. “A salad will indulge your skin better than if you just stick to one type of fruit or vegetable,” she notes. “In general, the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit, vegetables and spices was shown to possess benefits to overall wellness and specifically to skin health. Some key components of Mediterranean diet are tomatoes and olive oil—combining them allows you to better absorb the active components from tomato, which are oil-soluble.”
6. Focus on wellness. Believe it or not, keeping up with your wellness routine can help save your skin this winter. According to Dr. Hermoni, “A healthy and active lifestyle that cultivates your mental wellbeing is the most important strategy to enhancing skin health and beauty.” She goes on to explain that the basics are reflected in how you look. “If you want to do something good for your skin, the easiest way to start is by doing something good for your soul—do whatever makes you happy and relaxed, starting with good thoughts.”
Remember that prevention is better than any cure; maintaining a healthy lifestyle and effective beauty regimen today will show up on your skin today and in the future. “It’s always easier to maintain a youthful look than to reverse damage that was already caused,” Dr. Hermoni reminds.