Breakdown: Why the cold air can do a number on your skin

Why the cold air can do a number on your skin

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Studies have found that people have more breakouts in the winter and the cold dry weather could be to blame. You may be thinking, acne and pimples happen in all seasons but studies show that acne affects more people in the winter.

The cold winter air has way less moisture than the warm or hot air moisture-laden air associated with the other three seasons. The harsh, cold winds deprive your skin of its natural surface lipids, which behave as barriers to keep moisture in and keep dirt and other toxins out. The water in your skin evaporates fast which in turn can make your skin feel and tight.

Your skin loses more than 25% of its ability to hold moisture in the winter. It can also make it look ashy or flaky. Without the moisture barrier of protection, it’s easier for bacteria to get in which could mean more zits.

Dry skin is not just unique to winter but can happen at any time of the year. During the colder months though, it can affect more people.

The reason why skin is usually drier in the winter is that colder air doesn’t hold as much moisture. Dew points (a direct measure of moisture in the air) and humidity levels are typically significantly lower during the colder winter months. The colder, drier air on the outside combined with indoor heating can really cause a good bit of moisture loss from your skin. In the cold dry months, our skin works hard to produce more oil to moisturize, but for a lot of skin types, it is pretty tough to catch up.

The good news is that experts have several tips on things you can do to help your skin stay and feel moisturized.

Experts recommend protecting against dryness early before the cold season begins. Dermatologist suggests gentle cleansers and heavy moisturizers. Some soaps or strong cleansers can make your skin worse and rob you of your skin’s essential oils.

Experts say a humidifier can help replace some of the moisture in the air but warn that it isn’t just your home but your car, or office can usually be other sources of dry air. Drops in temperatures and humidity levels will cause our skin’s hydration levels to decrease too. Heavy clothing can also allow our skin to become dehydrated.

Protect your skin by wearing clothing, gloves, and scarves to shield it from the elements. Don’t forget to moisturize your hands, feet, elbows, and knees.

During the cold months, you may enjoy long hot showers but experts warn that while comforting, those long and steamy showers may rob the skin of natural oils and contribute to dryness.

Experts suggest, short lukewarm showers and use gentle, soap-free cleansers and moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower when possible.

Experts warn if you’re not drinking enough fluids, your skin gets dehydrated, which can make your skin feel dry. Experts recommend making sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids in the wintertime, even if you are not thirsty or don’t feel thirsty. Cut down or avoid caffeinated drinks, which will make you lose even more water.

Your skin cells are protected by a bubble of lipids (fats) that aid in keeping them soft, plump, and flexible. If you don’t get enough fatty acids in your diet, your body won’t have a foundation to be able to maintain this protective layer. Consuming foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids can help to restore your skin’s natural fats.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.