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Dra. Rosângela Manchini
#How about taking care of your skin?
Winter has arrived. This week we officially welcome cooler temperatures, drier weather, and cups of steaming hot chocolate in the middle of the day.
Some people like winter for the stylish outfits or the warm, comforting food. Others may struggle to get out of bed in the morning or to find the motivation to work out.
Regardless of your preference, the fact is that winter takes a toll on your skin. It is necessary to take care of yourself.
Ready for some top skincare tips?
#A protective layer
Dermatologists often hear their patients complain about skin issues at this time of year.
It is no wonder: there is a protective layer in the epidermis called the lipid mantle that can be easily broken down with the combination of long showers and hot water, and the use of harsh soaps.
When the skin barrier is damaged, there is a loss of water to the external environment, causing the skin to look ashy and dry or even scaly. You might experience the unpleasant feeling of skin tightness, irritation, or itching.
From an immunological point of view, the skin, in such conditions, is more susceptible to infections.
#The proper care
When we talk about the use of soaps that are suitable for the skin, we mean the use of products with a more neutral pH and free of detergents in their formulation. These are the so-called syndets that are less harmful to the skin.
The syndet soaps do not lather much, and even though they are less abrasive, they should be applied in small amounts and rinsed well.
There are also cleansing oils, which are less popular in Brazil but a great option to prevent skin dryness or for people with sensitive skin (such as eczema).
To complete the winter skincare routine, the application of moisturizers should be part of the daily ritual and, preferably, right after the shower, to help the skin to absorb its ingredients and prevent dryness.
There are several moisturizer textures, designed for specific body parts. For the face and areas with hair, lightweight and easily absorbed ones are recommended. For rougher areas such as elbows and knees, use moisturizers with denser textures and emollients.
There is a variety of active ingredients and fragrances in moisturizers, and dry skin is usually very sensitive; that is why it is important to talk to a dermatologist in order not to aggravate the situation.
#What about oily skin?
Another relevant detail is that even oily skin needs the application of moisturizers. Environment changes can trigger increased oil production—and that is exactly what happens if you experience oily skin in the winter. Oily skin can become extremely dry if you keep using the same astringent products of the summer season, or if you start taking long hot showers: the hot steam dries out the skin and, in an attempt to restore the barrier of protection, the sebaceous glands start to produce more oil. It is the so-called rebound effect.
So here's the message for those with oily skin: it's all a matter of adjusting your skincare routine to the seasons.
Most people want to ease up on sunscreen use during the winter, as the sun feels weaker and they are less likely to burn. But that's a mistake.
The use of sunscreen in winter must continue.
Only one of the two UV perpetrators, UVB, is actually lessened by clouds and winter. The other, UVA, is very much present year-round.
Sunscreen protection in winter is especially recommended for people who have some disorder in skin pigmentation. Creamier, denser textures can also help soothe dry skin.
#The Skin Talks
If the body is functioning properly, the skin will also reveal whether the hydration level is ideal.
Therefore, we must reinforce the intake of liquids throughout the day, since during the winter there is a tendency to decrease its consumption.
To help those less accustomed to this habit, a good idea would be to include succulent fruits, which, in addition to providing fluids to the body, are sources of vitamins and natural antioxidants - so essential to our health.
#Winter and aesthetics
Is winter the best season for cosmetic procedures?
Dermatologists hear many such questions. But, after all, what is the recommendation?
Much of skin aging is caused by the accumulation of ultraviolet radiation over a lifetime.
Although it is not imperative, in general, it is suggested to the patient to try to have their aesthetic procedures during the winter. This is to speed up the skin's healing and recovery process.
Some procedures require the use of denser creams to restore the skin, which can be tricky in the summer.
For some people, it can be a huge sacrifice not to go to the beach or to go swimming in the club during the recovery period, as well as wearing more clothes to cover and protect the treated area.
Some procedures, such as laser and microneedling, also lead to temporary swelling. And lower temperatures help swelling regress more quickly.
Another important point is that some of these procedures cause cell renewal, which leads to desquamation of the “dead skin”.
Therefore, as new skin is more sensitive to the sun, it is essential to avoid sun exposure for the time estimated by your doctor.
Anyway, the idea is to plan the treatment with the dermatologist, so that the sequence is followed and the results achieved.
Each skin type has a particular need and responds uniquely to procedures. Some even require prior preparation before the coming of winter.
Now that you have realized the importance of keeping a skincare routine and adjusting it to the winter days, how about going to a specialist who will recommend products that are specific to your skin type?
Self-care should be an act of self-love and generosity with oneself.
So, tell us... how is your skin now?