Whether you are working in an office or outdoors, this time of year is when people start to deal with seriously dry skin. Hands become very fragile, and some people experience painful cracking and bleeding. Those of us who work outside have it worse during the winter than during the summer. Cold, dry wind and freezing temperatures make it hard to keep your skin healthy. Here are a few tips for keeping your skin looking healthy during the holiday season and throughout the long winter.
- Moisturize – We can’t stress this enough. Keep a small bottle of moisturizer on your desk or in your bag. For those of you who work in offices, you know how quickly dry, climate-controlled air and paper handling can leech the moisture out of your skin. And for those of you who like to decorate for the holidays, pine trees and bushes also dry out your hands very quickly. Some moisturizers come in a stick form so you can just rub some onto your hands without worrying about a large bulky bottle.
- Drink lots of water – Keeping yourself hydrated is another key step to maintaining healthy skin, no matter the season. Although it may not seem like it, you sweat during the winter time, and sometimes just as much as the summer. Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system and offices can become very warm environments.
- Use less hand sanitizer – Hand sanitizer is a double edged sword. During the winter, you want to protect yourself from people who have colds or flu by sanitizing your hands after touching door handles, credit card machines, and things like that. The problem is, hand sanitizers are alcohol based and alcohol dries out your skin even faster. Also, since hand sanitizers kill bacteria, they kill the healthy bacteria on your hands as well, which can damage your skin. Use hand sanitizer sparingly, don’t bathe your hands in it. Then lightly moisturize. Or else make sure to wear gloves outside before touching door handles.
- Sunscreen – Anyone who has ever gone skiing or snowboarding will tell you, sunburn during the winter is still a very real possibility. And winter sunburns can be made worse by freezing cold, dry air. Make sure if you’re going to be on the slopes or outdoors for a long time, you put on some sunscreen with some SPF. You don’t want to get a winter sunburn around your ski goggles and deal with the painful repercussions afterwards.
These are just a few of the ways that you can protect your skin this winter. Consider switching to a moisturizing soap or body wash. Every little thing can help. During this time of year, when it seems like the choice is to freeze upon going outside or sweat because of all the clothing layers, remember to take precautionary steps to protect your skin from cold and excessive moisture. Both can lead to painful skin conditions and will put a real damper on your holiday spirit.