Winter’s just around the corner, and for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, that means three months of humid, windy weather, with an average daily high temperature that falls below 78°F. While not as cold and harsh as the rest of the US, the weather can nonetheless wreak havoc on your skin. What can you do to protect and take care of the largest organ in your body? Turns out, a lot.
Prestige Physicians is an internal medicine practice with a focus on aesthetic medicine. Dr. Kira Fenton and Dr. Cristina Savu strive to provide their patients with holistic care, targeting the mind, body, and spirit to achieve the highest quality of life. They recognize that taking proper care of your skin protects and nourishes your whole body, and they want you to be in the know about what you can do to make it through the cooler months.
Tips for winter skin care
Your biggest battle during the winter months will be combatting the humidity. When it tops 50%, your complexion can turn sweaty and shiny. You don’t actually perspire more when the humidity is high, but sweat remains on your skin longer because it can’t evaporate as quickly as when the air is dry.
When sweat lingers, it can block your pores. In addition, humid air stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, resulting in skin with an oily appearance. The combination of sweat and sebum may lead to frequent acne breakouts.
Here are some tips for what you can do.
Use the right cleanser
Wash your skin each morning and before bed to remove makeup, dirt, and excess oil. It’ll leave you feeling clean and refreshed. Cleansers that contain salicylic acid help remove dead surface skin cells, which keeps your pores clear and prevents breakouts from forming.
Always follow cleansing with a moisturizer, which reestablishes your outermost skin layer, protecting you from environmental pollutants, chemicals, and skin that turns dry and flaky from cleansers.
A combination lightweight moisturizer/sunscreen is your best bet during the humid winter season. Thick moisturizers on already moist skin can lead to clogged pores and inflammation, especially if you have acne-prone skin.
And just because the days are shorter doesn’t mean you’re not exposed to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. In fact, during the winter months, there’s less chance of precipitation, meaning more bright, sunny days. Use a product that has an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent dry, damaged skin.
Nourish with vitamin C
Vitamin C is a great year-round product, especially if you live in a warm, humid climate. It helps prevent hyperpigmentation and improve the appearance of fine lines caused by sun exposure, and it may boost collagen production, strengthening and toning your skin. Put a few drops on your skin between your cleansing and moisturizing steps.
If you have oily skin or a sheen of sweat, add exfoliation into your skin care routine. It’s best to start slowly, then increase the number of days you exfoliate per week. Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) pads open up blocked pores and remove the oil that leads to acne breakouts.
Keep baths and showers short
When the weather’s humid and you have a sheen of sweat on your body, you’re more prone to bathe or shower more often and for longer times. Overdoing it, however, can lead to dry skin, inflammation, and even eczema. Keep your bathing short, to about four to five minutes each time, and pat dry rather than rubbing.