Winter brings with it many changes – the landscape is different, the days are shorter, the weather gets colder. There are many activities to participate in within the independent living community, both outdoors and indoors, which are a lot of fun. However, with the colder weather, our skin needs to be cared for more diligently. This is especially true as we get older because the skin is thinner and more susceptible to dryness.
Skin loses up to 25% of its ability to hold moisture during winter months, due to the cold, dry air outside, the additional heat we add to our homes, or the hot baths we take to warm and comfort our bodies.
Below are some tips to help take care of our skin in the winter:
- Use a humidifier to regulate the indoor humidity levels and provide moisture in the air. Consider having two small humidifiers – one in the bedroom and one in your living area.
- Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumbers, and healthy fats such as salmon, walnuts, and avocados – the Omega 3’s will moisturize your skin from the inside. Drink hot water with lemon and decaffeinated tea to stay hydrated.
- Continue to use sunscreen on all exposed skin when you go outside. The sun’s rays can dry your skin even during cooler temperatures. Make sure you use a good lip balm daily to prevent dry, chapped lips.
- Protect your neck and hands, where the skin is especially thin, by applying moisturizer regularly and be sure to wear a scarf and gloves when the temperature drops.
- Exfoliate your skin to get rid of dry skin, and apply a rich oil-based moisturizer morning and night.
- Avoid harsh soaps which can dry and irritate the skin and switch to a milky cleanser.
- Avoid very hot showers and take short warm baths instead. You can add baking soda or oatmeal to your bath water to treat dry, itchy skin. After the bath, don’t rub your skin dry, but rather pat it gently and apply a body lotion while skin is slightly damp.
- Dress in layers and wear a soft fiber like cotton or silk next to your skin rather than rough wool to prevent skin irritation.
In addition to taking good care of your skin in the winter, always be careful walking on icy sidewalks and participate in group walks and activities rather than going outside alone.
You may also like: