Categorized | Skin Care

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Winter Skin Conditions Are Mostly Caused By Low Relative Humidity

Winter skin conditions are mostly caused by low relative humidity, which in turn is caused by cold temperatures outdoors and warm indoor temperatures. When there is less moisture in the surrounding air, the skin’s moisture content decreases.

The situation is further complicated by forced air heat, which most people use. The fans that force warm air into our buildings dry out our surroundings even more. Mucus membranes become dry and more susceptible to viral infections.

The skin’s surface becomes dry and less able to function as a barrier for the inside of the body. So, while the thing that we might notice most is dryness, flakiness and itching, the whole situation can have a detrimental effect on our health.

Keeping the indoor air moist through the use of a humidifier may be helpful. The water must be changed regularly and the filters kept clean. Otherwise bacteria or fungi can build up on the filters, inside the machine and in the water. The humidifiers fans then blow these illness causing pathogens out into the air.

A more convenient and possibly safer way to conquer winter skin conditions is to use a good moisturizer. The word “good” should probably be underlined in that sentence. Many of the so-called moisturizers on today’s market do not actually moisturize. They contain petroleum-based oils that are not compatible with the skin’s oils and can further degrade the skin’s barrier function.

A good moisturizer is one that contains plant-based oils with a fatty acid content similar to the skin’s own sebum, oil produced by glands beneath the skin’s surface. Sebum would provide a moisturizing effect, but because we wash regularly for good hygiene, sebum is simply not enough.

People with oilier complexions tend to worry about using a moisturizer even to combat winter skin conditions. There is no need to worry as long as the petroleum based moisturizers are avoided.

Certain ingredients can even help to balance sebum production. So, they work to prevent excessive dryness and excessive oiliness. Babassu wax is an example of an ingredient that balances sebum production.

Normally a warm bath provides moisture that the skin’s cells need. But hot showers during the wintertime just strip away more of the skin’s natural protectants, making it even more important to use a good moisturizer.

You can conquer winter skin conditions with the right ingredients. The best manufacturers work hard to find ingredients that moisturize regardless of the season.

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