Great Hacks for Protection Your Skin in Colder Weather

Chicago dermatologist Dr. Nilam Amin discusses ways to protect your skin in colder weather

You’ve set your clock back for daylight savings time, but did you adjust your skin care routine? You should! You need to switch from lightweight summer products to ones better suited for cooler weather that will protect your skin against Chicago’s cold, dry autumn.

I receive many calls this time of year from patients complaining about dry patches, rashes, itchy skin, and more. Since we know we have months of even colder weather to come, now is the time to head off the problems before they even happen.

So here are some ways to protect your skin in colder weather:

Moisturize more and more often

You’ll want to switch to a moisturizer to create a protective layer on your skin that retains more moisture. Consider a cream rather than a lotion and use it from head to toe. But be careful! Choose a moisturizer that’s specially formulated not to clog pores. When in doubt, ask us!

Hack: Apply your moisturizer when your skin is still a bit damp right after you shower, bathe, or wash your face.

Hands count

I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s harder to keep your hands well moisturized this time of year. This can lead to cracking and itchiness. The best thing you can do for your hands is to wear gloves when you go outside. Use a good hand cream plus add a cuticle oil to your routine.

Hack: Keep extra hand cream in your purse, backpack, briefcase, or car.

Protect your lips

It’s best to keep your lips protected to keep them from drying out and cracking. Use non-irritating lip balms, moisturizer, and lipsticks.

Hack: Always make sure your lip products include sun-protective ingredients.

Stay dry

Fewer things will make you unhappy in cold weather than wet hands or feet. Sometimes, keeping them dry can be a real challenge but worth the effort. Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even eczema flare-ups.

Hack: Keep extra socks and glove or glove liners around…just in case.

Put on sunscreen

I’ve said this before and it’s worth repeating — sunscreen is not just for sunny summer days. Winter sun can still damage your skin. Always apply sunscreen to your face and your hands if they’re exposed. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.

Hack: Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 regardless of the temperature or UV level.

Stay hydrated

Dry air — both indoors and outside — can wreak havoc with your skin. That’s why it’s so important to hydrate to keep your skin looking its best. Keep drinking water and use hydrating moisturizers to keep your skin its healthiest.

Hack: Drink plenty of water and use products that hydrate your skin.

Still have itchy, bumpy, rough spots?

Even when you follow a good skin care routine, you can still get itchy, bumpy, or rough spots. Don’t scratch…no matter how hard that may be. It can create a secondary infection, which worsens the problem. Instead, see us. Oftentimes, a prescription topical steroid can help calm down inflammation and itching. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.