Surprising Ways to Keep Your Skin Healthy All Winter Long

Even though winter isn’t here yet, cold weather has settled across Michigan—and your skin may be feeling the effects. With strong winds, and cold temperatures accompanied by low humidity outside and harsh central heating, dry skin is a common problem for Michiganders this time of year. And while using lotion and wearing gloves can protect your body from the brisk air, don’t forget some other important steps you can take to care for your skin. Since November is National Healthy Skin Month, now is the perfect time to start adopting these healthy habits (and keep up with them all winter long!):

  • Use petroleum jelly to combat dry skin. Lotion is moisturizing, but sometimes you need something more heavy duty. That’s when you might want to reach for petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is effective for healing injured skin like cracked knuckles, which can be hard to heal in the cold weather.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks. Making sure your feet stay warm is essential in the winter, but it’s also key to make sure your feet stay dry to prevent blisters. Moisture wicking socks work to pull sweat away from your feet, keeping them warm and dry and reducing blister-causing friction.
  • Protect your skin with SPF. Even in the dark winter months, you should still apply daily sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. UV rays can still do damage even on cloudy days and can also be reflected off of snow. An easy way to do this is to choose a daily moisturizer that has SPF built in—one step and you’ll be helping your skin out in two ways.
  • Stay on top of stress. Reducing how much stress you feel isn’t just good for your mind, but also helps maintain healthy skin. Stress can contribute to skin problems, including acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Some skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema can even appear for the first time due to high stress.
  • Gently wash your face in the morning and at night. It’s best to wash your face when you wake up to remove any dirt, bacteria, or sweat that may have settled on your face while sleeping and before bed to remove anything that may have accumulated on your skin during the day. Use warm water with a cleanser that’s right for your skin type, cleaning with gentle circular motions and pat dry.

If you come across a mark or a rash, or continue to have problems with your skin, see your primary care physician or a dermatologist for medical advice and treatment.

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