Dr. Molly Wanner, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School
The skin has important functions. The skin helps us sense the world through touch and regulate our temperature. It protects us from the elements such as wind, cold, and ultraviolet light and is the first line of defense against infection. While our skin can protect us from our environment, our environment can also impact the health of our skin. How can we help keep our skin healthy?
Use thicker moisturizers and apply more frequently in the winter: Cold air holds less moisture, and this impacts the level of moisture in our skin. Minimizing water loss is crucial for skin function. In the winter, it is helpful to apply moisturizer more frequently and use moisturizers that are thicker, such as creams and ointments. Soothing Baby Face Cream
Use gentle cleansers in the winter: Scrubbing the skin or using harsh cleansers contributes to dry skin. Especially in the winter, it is important to cleanse gently to avoid stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Superfood Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
Stay ahead of dry skin as the seasons change and during winter travel: Naturally, our skin has its own inherent “moisturizers”. But, it takes time for the skin to accommodate to different climates. Especially during seasonal transitions or after travel from warm to cold environments, you can keep your skin healthy by being vigilant about applying moisturizer.
Anticipate when the skin needs extra protection: Wind cools the air and increases the likelihood of dry skin. If your children are skiing or sledding on a cold and windy day, apply moisturizer before they head outside. Just as a cream is applied to your baby’s cheeks to prevent irritation during feeding, so should cream be applied to the cheeks to prevent irritation during windy and cold weather. Soothing Baby Face Cream
Yes, you should apply sunscreen in the winter: Ultraviolet light is a known carcinogen. While ultraviolet light B (UVB), the major contributor to sunburn, is stronger in the summer, Ultraviolet A (UVA) is equally present on cloudy days and winter days. While you may be less likely to burn, you are still damaging your skin in the winter.