Lucija Kračun, MD
Specialist of family practise
AAAMED diploma for aesthetic medicine
Protect it well, nourish, moisturize it? It is especially sensitive during this period, as it has to withstand both low temperatures and icy winds, as well as warm dry air indoors.
We are in a very special, magical part of the year and I hope that you find time as often as possible for active relaxation and socializing with your loved ones on the snowy slopes. Whether it’s skiing, cross – country skiing, sledding, skating or dunking, and creating snow sculptures with the youngest. And the bravest ones go to the high mountains for ski touring to indulge in the silence, the beauties of nature.
Of course, it is completely self – evident that with regular physical exercise and proper nutrition before winter, we take care of good physical fitness and carefully inspect winter equipment. Health and safety are without a doubt in the first place. But we often forget about the proper protection and care of the skin, our largest organ, and then we look anxiously at the redness, itching and unpleasant peeling.
But the fact is that in the winter the metabolism slows down and when moving from the cold to a warm apartment, the skin suddenly re – circulates, which can occasionally even cause capillaries to burst. However, if this is taken into account and properly cared for, the side effects of the cold can be prevented quite easily.
How? Let’s see.
In winter, the skin is usually drier due to central heating, and cold and wind contribute to this as they accelerate the evaporation of moisture from its deeper layers. Dry skin burns, itches, and peels finely. It is also more sensitive to environmental influences and infection. It can become inflamed and sharply limited, and reddish spots called to appear. We call them “winter” dermatitis.
For protection and care, especially during winter activities, therefore, use deeply nourishing organic moisturizing serums, creams, and ointments that restore the two-layer protective lipid layer in the epidermis and thus provide maximum comfort to the skin. For lips, we recommend lip balm. It is essential that they also contain various moisturizing substances that bind water from the environment, such as urea, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera juice, ectoine ... Protect exposed areas, especially the face and hands, half an hour before leaving home.
Avoid water – based protective creams in winter, as the evaporation of the water component further dries out and irritates the epidermis. If your skin is very sensitive, avoid nourishing creams that contain alpha-hydroxy or fruit acids in low temperatures and wind. Exfoliation accelerates the latter, as do chemical peels, which make the skin more sensitive. Be especially careful with protection in atopic dermatitis or any other skin disease in which the protective phospholipid layer is damaged.
In addition to sports activities on snow and in the high mountains, adequate protection against UV rays, which can cause burns or more lasting consequences, is also very important. The angle of the sun’s rays in winter is small, but they reflect up to 85 percent of white surfaces.
In the high mountains, UVC rays of the solar spectrum are also present, which are very irritating to the eyes and can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva or so called snow blindness, in advanced cases even permanent consequences, so be sure to wear goggles. And don’t forget the lips!
Ordinary vaseline is enough to prevent them from drying out and cracking and igniting.
Food & beverage
Healthy skin should always be taken care of from the inside. Therefore, eat foods that contain unsaturated fatty acids (such as olive or flaxseed oil) and vitamins A (carrots, pumpkin), C (citrus, kiwi) and E (nuts), as they have a beneficial effect on skin regeneration. Also excellent are, of course, fruits and vegetables and fresh vegetable juices that detoxify the body, eggs, low – fat cheeses, yogurt with fresh fruit and skimed milk. Meat, poultry and fish are the best from the grill, let’s have a vegetable side dish. Heavy and rich foods that overload the liver and cause digestive problems, as well as starchy products, should be avoided if possible. We prefer to eat cereals in as little processed form as possible. Eat at a certain time and chew well.
Fresh air & physical activity
No big deal then, if it’s cold. Nevertheless, spend as much time outside, in the air full of oxygen, which is needed by both our skin and the body. Especially climbing a hill, a long walk, running, cross – country skiing, skiing or something similar will not force you to take deep breaths. We also regularly ventilate our apartments, as they are warm, dry and full of stagnant air. Do not forget to check humidity in your house since it is usually very low during winter!
Even if we fail to move outside, we do not neglect regular blinking. It will help the body to relax and cleanse itself of waste toxic substances, otherwise it will be deposited in various parts of the body, including the subcutaneous tissue. And the consequence? Gray, colorless, sagging skin. Its elasticity and tension must always be maintained.