Winter scene. AP PHOTO

CHICAGO — Our skin takes a beating during this time of the year. The drop in temperature disturbs the protective functioning of our body’s largest organ. Loss of heat created by this kind of environment results in poor blood circulation and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This condition causes dehydration and sensitive skin. Flakiness, tightness, redness and itch are the usual manifestations. So how do we avoid these?

Here are some ways to manage winter’s adverse effect on our skin:


Use of the right moisturizer is a must. No matter what type of skin, loss of water due to cold temperature is inevitable. Heavier moisturizers will help seal in the water for a well-hydrated skin to function better.

Adequate water intake during the whole day should be strictly observed. This will help in replacing 500 milliliters (equivalent to one pint) of trans epidermal water that can be lost daily. Drinking two to four ounces of water every two hours is suggested.


A good diet with fair amount of essential fatty acids is required for keeping the moisture barrier. Heat generation happens when body metabolizes fat. There are different sources of healthy fat such as avocado and salmon. Vitamin C and E supplement intake aids in counteracting free radical damage which may abound in this cold season.

Stay away from long hot showers. We may find it relaxing and comfortable but it can create a problem to an already existing sensitive skin. Use of aggressive soap worsens the effect on the skin’s protective system. Try to keep it short and maintain a water temperature that’s enough to keep you warm.

Instead of wearing thick material clothing, layering is a great way of insulating. We tend to don on heavy clothes which can cause us to sweat. Sweating during a cold temperature increases heat loss.

Apply sunblock of at least SPF 30 regularly. We may assume that during the cold months the sun does not have damaging affects. On the contrary, it’s already wreaking havoc without our knowledge. UVA and UVB rays can be strongest especially in the presence of snow. One gets double exposure since the sun’s rays bounce twice.

Be conscious of your immediate surroundings for humidity level. At 60 percent, our body will lose more moisture. Having a humidifier will surely help. Before going out we have to check the wind chill factor, for a very cold air can be very harmful to an already compromised skin.

Achieving a healthier skin in the middle of this aggressive environment is not impossible. Keep these pointers in mind and observe them to enjoy what this season offers which is a radiant and youthful glow.

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TAGS: Glenora Luz-Frayna, L.E./Certified Medical Esthetician, moisturizer, sunblock, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), winter skin damage, winter skin protection
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