Winter Skincare Tips and Tricks

Dr. Hilary Baldwin

With winter comes snow-covered landscapes and cozy nights by the fire — but the winter chill doesn't present many benefits for your skin. The skin is the body's largest organ; therefore it is very susceptible to winter's chilly temperatures, bitter winds and severe elements. Many people experience dry and flaky skin in the winter, so I've come up with a list of tips and tricks to keep your skin healthy and moisturized during the colder months.

First, let me share with you the science behind skin drying out in the winter. The stratum corneum, or the outermost layer of the skin, is made up of dead skin cells and natural oils produced by underlying skin cells. The natural oils keep water from escaping the stratum corneum and it is this water that keeps the skin soft and smooth. Skin becomes dry when external circumstances, such as extremely dry air, break down the natural oils, causing the stored water to escape the skin. With exposure to cold temperatures outside and dry heat indoors, many people experience loss of moisture in their skin.

Since the oils that protect your skin from losing moisture are stripped down by dry air, it's important to take steps to repair the skin barrier and prevent your skin from becoming itchy and dry.You may need to increase the thickness of your moisturizer in the winter by using a cream instead of a lotion.

Season changes are a great time to rethink how you care for your overall health and appearance. As surprising as this may sound, it's very important to protect your skin from the effects of the sun in the winter, as the sun reflecting from snow can cause sunburn and damage to the skin. Try to remember to apply moisturizer with at least SPF 30 15 minutes prior to going outdoors to moisturize your skin, protect it from the sun and prevent windburn. You should also protect any visible scars on your skin from the sun. By using Mederma® Scar Cream Plus SPF 30, you can reduce the overall appearance of scars while also protecting them from sunburn.

Another step you can take is making sure your bath water isn't too hot, as the mixture of hot water and soap greatly depletes your skin's natural oils — think how effectively hot water and soap work in tandem to remove grease from a frying pan. Additionally, the hot air coming from central heating systems and fireplaces also dries out your skin, so consider investing in a humidifier to keep moisture circulating in the air.

For those of you caring for cuts or scrapes, it's especially important to keep your skin moisturized, as this is conducive to the overall wound healing process. Why not take the next step by reducing the appearance of scars resulting from cuts or scrapes? Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel is the first and only 1X topical scar gel that is clinically shown to improve the overall appearance, color and texture of scars.

Don't let dry skin keep you from looking and feeling your best during the winter months. Use these tips and products to protect your skin so it's looking healthy and well by the time the weather warms up!

All information in the Mederma® Learning Center is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.