6 Tips for Healthy Skin This Winter

by The Firefly Care TEam

Published December 30, 2021

woman in bathrobe inspecting her skin in the mirrow

When thinking about “skin problems,” many people tend to think of common dermatological issues like acne or summer-specific skin concerns like sunburns and skin cancer. But between the harsh weather and the dry indoor air, winter is a recipe for dry skin and other issues.

Keep your skin moisturized and healthy all winter long

  1. You still need sunscreen — especially if you’re skiing! Anytime you’re exposed to sunlight, you’re vulnerable to UV rays, and this risk is magnified if you’re at high altitudes or if the sun is reflected off surfaces like snow or ice. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen during your morning routine in place of or under your moisturizer. Since this reduces your exposure to the UVB rays that help the body synthesize vitamin D, you may want to consider adding a vitamin D3 supplement to your winter regimen.
  2. Carry lip balm or ointment. Chapped lips can cause “lick eczema,” which is when dry, red skin forms along the perimeter of the mouth, causing cracked, inflamed, itchy skin. Applying lip balm regularly can help prevent this irritating condition.
  3. Keep your hands hydrated. Handwashing is a necessity all year round to prevent the spread of illness. But during the winter months, hand soaps can be much more drying, especially in combination with alcohol-based sanitizer. Focus on good handwashing with a hydrating soap instead of sanitizer and immediately follow with moisturizer. If your hands are in desperate need of hydration, try applying a thick emollient moisturizer at bedtime and wearing cotton gloves on top to lock in moisture while you sleep. 
  4. Avoid things that trigger existing skin conditions. Skin conditions like rosacea and eczema can occur all year round, but they often flare up during the winter due to drastic temperature changes, indoor heating, and dehydrated skin. Avoid triggers like hot showers or exposed skin outdoors, as well as products with retinoids, exfoliating acids, and vitamin C. Be sure to moisturize throughout the day, especially right after bathing, to prevent and treat flares.
  5. Try a dandruff shampoo for scaly skin. If you’re noticing flaking around your nose or eyebrows, you may be developing dermatitis from yeast — a common condition that’s exacerbated by winter temperatures. Try washing the affected areas with a dandruff shampoo a few times per week, followed by a moisturizer, and check with your care team for more recommendations.
  6. Don’t exfoliate too often. If your skin is dry and sensitive, regular exfoliation (both manual and chemical) can actually make things worse! Some ingredients can be more irritating in the winter than other times of year, so be aware of ingredients like retinoids, exfoliating acids, and vitamin C during this time. Alternatively, products with hyaluronic acid are great for boosting hydration!

Your Firefly care team is here to help

Managing your winter skin issues doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you need additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Firefly team. Our clinicians can help you decide on a care plan or refer you to our resident dermatologist, Michael Krathen, MD. Schedule a visit in the app today.

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