Winter is Coming (And How To Prepare Your Skin For It)

It’s official.  Summer is over.  Gone are the days of 110 degree heat.  No more beach days and pools parties where you break out the grill to show your mastery over fire.  That deep beautiful tan that you got will soon turn to a fair complexion, but that’s not the only thing that will happen to your skin.  As winter approaches your skin is going to start to dry out.  Just as you would switch your wardrobe, so should you change your skincare routine to prepare for the changing weather.  But first, lets find out why your skin dries out in the first place.

Low Humidity

relative_humidity_percent_pct
Relative Humidity for Pennsylvania

One of the main reasons that your skin dries out is that there is less moisture in the air.  Humidity levels peak on October 2nd here in Pennsylvania and continue to drop until they are at their lowest on April 20th.  When there is less moisture in the air two things happen that cause you to lose your own moisture.  First, you lose it through respiration.  If you’ve ever fogged up a mirror with your breath what your looking at is moisture that you lose every time you exhale.  Your body naturally humidifies the air that you breathe.  As the air gets drier your body is forced to use more of its own moisture to do that, and loses more of it in every exhalation.[1]

Next, you lose moisture through your skin, which is a semi-permeable membrane.  While we don’t know the exact mechanism for why this happens, we know that it does.[1]  This is why it is so important to use a heavy moisturizer, like Kaiya Naturals Chickie Gold Moisturizer, in the winter.  Light summer moisturizers, like Kaiya Naturals White Petal Aloe Moisturizer, just don’t have the hydrating power that’s required for the winter.

Heating

radiatorIt can be a controversial topic.  Ask any HVAC technician, a physicist or chemist.  Does heating your home dry out the air?  Yes, and no.[2]  Some types of heating do dry out air.  Some don’t actually dry out the air, but only make it feel drier.  Finally, some actually add moisture to the air.  It all depends on a how your unit heats the air, where it pulls the air it is heating from, what condition it, and the ductwork, is in, as well as how well your home is sealed.[3]  Without knowing all these factors it’s hard to say whether or not your heat is drying out your home.  If it is, you may want to invest in a humidifier.

Long Hot Showers

I know what you’re thinking, “Don’t take my hot winter showers away from me!”  Well, I’m sorry to say that those luxurious, relaxing showers are stripping your skin of necessary oils that help lock in moisture.  The hotter the water,  the longer your shower, and the more frequently you take it the more oils will be stripped from your skin causing it to dry out.[4]  To combat this,  you’ll need to do the unthinkable….take short, cold showers less often.  I know, I might as well be telling you cut off your right arm, but your skin will thank you.

Harsh Soaps

avoid-harsh-soapsSpeaking of long, hot showers, the type of soap that you use will also strip your skin of oils.  Harsh soaps bind with dirt and oil to cleanse your skin.  While it is good to remove the dirt that clogs pores, removing the oil will cause your skin to dry out.  It also leads to a vicious cycle where your skin starts to overproduce oil.  Harsh soaps are soaps that have an alkaline pH.[5]  These are typically soaps that form lots of suds.  Find a cleanser that has a slightly acidic pH, like Kaiya Naturals Face & Body Wash.

How to Prepare

In the winter low humidity, both outside and inside, causes your skin to lose moisture.  Add to this the oil stripping activities of long, hot showers and harsh soaps, and your skin becomes as dry as the Sahara Desert.  While you can’t do anything about the low humidity outside, you can use a heavy moisturizer, like Kaiya Naturals Chickie Gold Moisturizer, to keep your skin from losing moisture.  Also, you can put a humidifier inside your home to help keep the air more humid.  To keep vital oils from being stripped away from your skin you can take short showers, with water as cold as you can handle, while using a gentle cleanser, like Kaiya Naturals Face & Body Wash.

If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.


References:

[1] http://www.achooallergy.com/learning/the-effects-of-humidity-on-the-human-body/

[2] http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6620/do-electric-heaters-with-open-heating-elements-dry-the-air-or-burn-up-oxygen

[3] http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/73469/Does-a-Gas-Furnace-Dry-Out-the-Air-in-Your-Home

[4] http://www.newsweek.com/do-hot-showers-dry-your-skin-96379

[5] http://www.thefrisky.com/2014-11-10/all-the-science-you-need-to-know-about-your-skins-ph-level/

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