7 Tips to Protect Your Skin in the Winter

Last updated: November 2022

Believe it or not, summer is not the only season when skincare matters! One of the most important functions of the skin is to protect us from things that may harm our health. As the largest organ of the human body, our skin needs constant care.1

Read on to learn more about the skin, common skin concerns, and what you can do to keep your skin healthy in the colder months especially with allergies.

The skin protects us from harm

The skin supports our body functions and overall health in a variety of ways. These include:1,2

  • Regulates body temperature while protecting you from extreme heat or cold
  • Helps prevent dehydration
  • Kills bacteria
  • Produces hormones that are important to the whole body
  • Allows the body to feel sensations such as warmth, cold, pressure, itching, and pain

Tips to protect your skin in the winter months

Here are 7 tips to protect your skin so it will be able to protect you:3-5

1. Wear the right clothing

Proper clothing is the first line of defense against sun or wind damage. For example, hats keep you warm but also protect your scalp and face from sun damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays.

2. Use sunscreen

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher daily. Apply the sunscreen to areas of the body that are exposed to the sun. If dry skin is also a problem for you, try a moisturizing sunscreen.

3. Moisturize

Apply moisturizer to the skin after bathing and washing your hands. This helps to seal in moisture while the skin is still damp.

4. Avoid peak sun hours

They vary by region, but peak sun hours tend to occur between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM in the winter months.

5. Stay hydrated

There are different ways to get creative when staying hydrated. You can set a water drinking goal. Try healthy hot beverages (like unsweetened teas), water infused with fruits like oranges or strawberries, or homemade smoothies. If possible, talk to a nutritionist or primary care doctor about incorporating hydrating foods into your meals.

6. Keep up to date on skin examinations

If you notice any skin changes, always reach out to your doctor or a dermatologist. Changes might include rashes, persistent itchiness, or new skin growths.

7. Take lukewarm showers or baths

During the winter months, it is not uncommon for people to use very hot water when taking a bath or shower. But when combined with harsh soaps, a hot shower can really irritate your skin. It may get itchy and uncomfortable. Instead, use lukewarm water and soothing soaps to help combat the "winter itch."

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