As the weather gets colder and colder, outdoor activities become more and more appealing. There’s so many options to choose from, including skiing, sledding, building a snowman, or building an igloo. The opportunities for outdoor winter fun are endless. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement, it’s important to take these steps to keep your skin hydrated and healthy all winter long.
Just because it’s not summer anymore doesn’t mean you should put the sunscreen away! Experts recommend that you should actually wear sunscreen throughout the entire year, even in the winter. Any time you are planning on spending time outdoors, grab the SPF. In fact, snow and ice actually intensify the sun’s UV rays. Snow and ice can reflect up to 90% of UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and wrinkles.
This might seem obvious, and of course layering up keeps you warm when you’re outside, but there are other reasons to layer up when you’re spending time outside. Just because it’s a cloudy day and the sun isn’t fully out doesn’t mean it’s not there. Cover up to avoid the sun’s harmful UV rays. Also, make sure you wear layers with wicking fabric. This type of fabric is less scratchy than other fabrics, so it’s less likely to cause irritation when rubbing against your skin.
Being outside during a Michigan winter will quickly dry out your lips and skin. Chapped and cracked lips can be very painful. Keep a lip balm with you at all times when you’re outside, and reapply every few hours. For extra protection, get a lip balm with SPF in it, as your lips can be sunburned too. We love gentle products that don’t have fragrance, such as Aquaphor or Dr. Dan’s lip balm. For your body, be sure to moisturize on damp skin after every shower to trap in moisture and prevent dryness and itch. We love products that have ceramides, such as Vanicream, Cerave or Cetaphil.
In the summer, you’re constantly sweating under the hot summer sun, and it’s easy to remember to stay hydrated. However, just because you’re not necessarily sweating when you’re outside doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay hydrated during the winter. Another surprising tip about staying hydrated in the winter is that long baths and showers actually strip the natural oils from your skin, which dries you out. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice warm shower, but make sure that you moisturize generously after.
When you come in after a long day of outdoor fun, the dry air in your home can also dehydrate your skin. This can cause dry, itchy, cracked skin. Keep a humidifier in your home to add moisture back into the air. The moisture in the air will be absorbed by your skin, keeping you hydrated and healthy.
Michigan winters are great for outdoor winter activities, but they can be very harsh on the skin if you’re not careful. If you have any questions or need more tips to keep your skin healthy and hydrated in a Michigan winter, contact The Derm Institute of West Michigan today!