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Life and Health: Winter Skincare

Winter can be tough on your skin. In this week's Life and Health, get advice on how to keep your skin smooth this season.

Winter can be tough on your skin. In this week's Life and Health, get advice on how to keep your skin smooth this season.
Jeanine Pohlhaus, licensed aesthetician, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery offers her advice in this segment.

Winter Skincare Q & A with Jeanine Pohlhaus:

How does winter weather affect the skin?

"When the weather changes, so should your skincare routine. Without proper skincare, the winter's cold air, harsh winds, and indoor heating can really affect your skin, making it dry, dehydrated, and impaired. Those factors can cause redness, itchiness, and dry, flaky patches, which is why it's crucial to follow a proper skincare regimen."

How do you keep skin healthy and glowing during the winter months?

"Moisturizing is vital to keeping skin healthy during the winter months, because the cold air is likely to dry out skin quickly. For people with dry and normal skin, I recommend switching to a moisturizer with humectants, which are substances that help the skin retain moisture. Also, look for moisturizers that contain shea butter, squalene, vitamins and sodium hyaluronate, because they deliver super hydration. If you have oily skin, it's still vital to moisturize your skin. Use an oil-free moisturizer that is enriched with glycerin or aloe vera, and not one that contains mineral oil, as it will clog your pores. Most people should moisturize every morning and evening after cleansing.

It's also important to exfoliate two or three times per week to get rid of the dry, dead skin, and the use of a humidifier may help to keep moisture in the air and hydrate your skin."

What should be avoided during the winter months to protect the skin?

"Do not use hot water on your skin after being out in the cold, because intense heat from a hot bath or shower can actually break down lipid barriers in your skin leading to moisture loss. Instead, choose warm water and avoid taking long showers.

Since your skin is drier during the winter months, avoid using alcohol-based toners and astringents, which can strip essential oils from your skin. Instead, use a gentle cleanser- ones that are preferably sulfate free."

Is there anything people can do to protect their skin before going outside?

"It's so important to wear sunscreen throughout the entire year. When the winter sun is combined with the glare of the snow, it can be especially damaging to skin. I recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on the face and any other skin that may be exposed to the sun. To help remember to apply sunscreen each day, mix it with your daily moisturizer, or find a moisturizer that includes sunscreen. If you have oily skin or have acne, look for an oil-free sunblock. SPF in foundation is usually not enough coverage."

Where can people learn more about the skincare services provided by Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery?

"Interested individuals can visit cosmetic.mountnittany.org or call our office at 231.7878."

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