Winter-proofing skin against frigid temperatures and bitter winds is easier said than done. Before you know it, your complexion is as pale and dreary as the weather outside your window.
Being aware of a few common skin care myths is the first step to keeping your complexion healthy all season long.
Dr. David Colbert, founder and head physician of NY Dermatology Group, lays the most pervasive of them to rest for once and for all. Read on for the facts:
Myth: Blasting indoor heat will protect skin against moisture-sapping winds and frosty temperatures.
Fact: While limiting outdoor exposure is one of the smartest ways to protect your skin, turning up the heat inside your home or office can be extremely drying. On the other hand, running a humidifier indoors can actually seem warming while also preventing skin from feeling dry and flaky. Remember to keep the moisture level above 60 percent, and-if you do find yourself outdoors-cover up with hats, scarves and gloves.
Myth: The pain and cracking associated with cold sore outbreaks is an untreatable fact of winter.
Fact: People who are prone to cold sore breakouts often see painful flare-ups during winter months due to cold and flu season, or even stress. Dr. Colbert recommends keeping an over-the-counter product such as Nexcare Cold Sore Treatment on hand to relieve the pain, drying and cracking associated with outbreaks. It combines Microvex Soothing Emollient, a nongreasy emollient that provides deep moisturizing benefits, with active ingredients benzocaine and allantoin for fast pain relief and lip protection.
Myth: It’s OK to cut back on exercise routines until closer to swimsuit season.
Fact: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-round. Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week can help give skin a healthy glow all winter. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, which also helps skin stay moisturized while flushing away toxins. If you aren’t meeting daily water requirements, try sipping some hot green tea-it will keep you warm, too.
Myth: Lip balm prevents chapping.
Fact: Be selective when choosing a lip balm since not all of them are created equal, and some may not provide much-needed moisturization. Try using a petroleum-based product for extra protection.
Myth: Sunscreen is only for summer.
Fact: Wrinkle- and cancer-causing UV rays can penetrate even the cloudiest of winter skies. And for those who ski, UV exposure is even greater. That means applying sunscreen year-round-especially one that protects against UVA and UVB rays to prevent skin damage and premature wrinkles.