Winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin for a number of reasons. “Skin loses water and becomes dry due to low humidity levels in the cold air and from dry heaters indoors,” says Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MD Director, New York Laser & Skin Care. “Wind strips the skin of its lipids (oils) and damages the surface barrier that protects us from the environment.” She adds that, on top of that, many of the hot drinks we have to warm up are diuretics (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and cause water loss from our bodies.
And those long showers and baths? “They’re tempting but they too cause the skin to dehydrate. To make matters worse, cold temperatures lower our immune defenses and reduce blood circulation to our skin, especially our hands, feet, and exposed areas. And don’t forget the exposure to smoke from the cozy fireplace and sun exposure, particularly at high altitudes. Some people get their worst sunburns skiing in the winter.”