Many people don’t realize they are at risk for skin cancer in the winter, especially if they are around snow or at a higher elevation. But when outside under the sun you need to protect your skin. Professional skier and three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso is serving as a SPOTlighter with the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT Skin Cancer initiative, helping get the word out about skin cancer prevention and detection. Winter can wreak havoc on your skin — making it dry, itchy, and irritated. And it can feel like there’s no escape: Cold, blustery conditions outside can leave your skin feeling raw, while indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and from your skin.
Even the things that make winter wonderful, such as sitting by a roaring fire, can dry your skin, as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes. And though taking a hot shower might seem like a good way to warm up, hot water dries out your skin by stripping it of its natural oils. But there are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long, including some easy changes to your everyday routine. For example, after taking a not-quite-so-hot shower, blot skin dry and apply a thick moisturizer within a few minutes after bathing to seal the water into the skin.
Julia Mancuso shares some suggestions tp protect your skin while on the slopes.
1. Put sunscreen on 15 minutes before going outdoors.
2. When selecting a sunscreen, choose a product SPF 30 or greater with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.
3. Make sunscreen a part of your ski gear bag.
4. Always protect your nose and wear zinc oxide.
5. Find time while you are on the slopes to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.
6. Start your day with a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it.
7. Wear goggles or sunglasses with UVA/UVB.
8. Wear a hat.
If you still experience dryness, discomfort, and irritation after trying these healthy skin tips, try using an over-the-counter, 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. If you don’t see improvement in a few days, talk with your doctor, you may need a prescription-strength moisturizer to overcome winter’s drying effects on your skin.