Baby, it’s cold outside.

Well, to be honest, it’s just a bit chilly here in St. Augustine. If we wait a few days, we’ll be trading our winter coats for light sweaters.

But it’s shivering weather just the same and when it comes to our skin—cool weather is still cold.

That means we’re all susceptible to skin damage from winter’s cold temperatures.

What Cold Weather Does to Our Skin

Cold weather draws out the warmth of our body through our skin.

One of the ways our body responds to the cold is a process called Peripheral Vasoconstriction. This is an attempt to retain heat in cold weather; blood flow is reduced in our skin through contraction of the blood vessels.

As our skin changes in cold weather, it can feel uncomfortable—dry, itchy—plus look unhealthy due to inflammation caused by free radicals.

Keep in mind, it’s not just the temperature on the thermometer. The wind chill factor can have an even more devastating effect on our skin. While the thermometer says 50 degrees, wind chill effect can be colder. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for windy days in addition to cold ones.

9 Ways to Protect Your Skin and Maintain a Healthy Look

At Debbie’s Day Spa and Salon, many of our clients ask what they can do during the winter to deal with the effects of the cold on their skin,

Our best advice would be to come to the spa so we can conduct an assessment of your skin. That way we can provide you with a solid treatment plan to protect your skin.

Below are 10 suggestions we recommend all of our clients take during the winter months.

Number 1: Use Sun Protection – at Least SPF 30

While it might be cooler outside, the sun is still shining UVA and UVB energy on our skin, which can make it vulnerable to ultraviolet damage.

Number 2: Moisturize Your Skin

Cool air tends to be dry air. That means air will draw out water from any source it can find—including our skin. The results: itchy, dry and often flaky skin.

The best course of action is to keep your skin moisturized during the winter months. Use a moisturizer designed for colder weather with high-water retaining ingredients like jojoba, argan, palm and rice bran oils.

If you’re looking for recommendations on moisturizers, give us a call or stop by. We’ll be happy to select a moisturizer that helps keep your skin healthy and youthful looking. 

Number 3: Drink Water

Since the cold air is drawing heat and water from your body, it’s imperative to stay hydrated. Drink at least two to four ounces of water every couple of hours.

Number 4: Eat Healthily

Our eating habits can change during the winter months—especially around the holidays. It’s important to eat an adequate amount of essential fatty acids to maintain that moisture barrier in our skins. Look for foods with healthy levels of fatty acids, like:

  • Salmon
  • Avocados
  • Almonds

Number 5: Use Antioxidants

Dry skin can attract free radicals. Take supplemental vitamins containing vitamin C and E, which can help your skin resist damage from free radicals.

Number 6: Watch What You Wear

We tend to bundle up in cold weather, sometimes too much—especially here in temperature-fluctuating Florida. Overdressing can overheat us, causing our body to sweat more, and can lead to water loss. Try dressing in layers. Also, be sure to keep your head covered against the cool breezes from our coast.

Number 7: Avoid Prolong Exposure to Hot Water

While hot, soothing showers can be luxurious, it can also hurt our skin. Especially if you’re not careful of the soaps you use.

Winter damaged skin can’t tolerate prolonged exposure to hot water. Plus, exfoliating-style soap can take its toll on your skin. Shorten your shower time and use gentle soaps during the winter.

We can help you select good, healthy soaps to use in cold weather.

Number 8: Use Lip Balms

Chapped lips are the worse. Not just uncomfortable, but unappealing. Keep a lip balm with you at all times throughout the winter. Make sure it uses a combination of sunscreen and emollients.

Number 9: Watch the Humidity Inside

Heaters tend to dry out the air around us. If the humidity falls below 60 percent, our skin—which is 70 percent water—starts to dry out. Lower humidity can also lead to upper respiratory issues. Use a humidifier to maintain a healthy amount of moisture in the air in your home.

Need Advice on Your Skin – We’re Always Available

Our skincare professionals can help you keep your skin looking and feeling healthy and radiant—not just in the winter but throughout the year.

Debbie’s Day Spa and Salon offers extensive skin treatment services in St. Augustine

Feel free to set up an appointment with one of our professionals by calling us at (904) 825-0569.