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Embracing Winter Glow: A Lifestyle Medicine Approach to Healthy Winter Skin





As the crisp winter air settles in, many of us eagerly anticipate the joys of the season – from cozy evenings by the fireplace to the beauty of snow-covered landscapes. However, the drop in temperature also brings with it a unique set of challenges for our skin. As a PCP, I often witness an increase in skin issues during the winter months- and personally as someone with naturally dry skin, winter can quickly become an itchy, irritating nightmare for my skin! In this blog post, I'll shed light on the common winter skin woes and share practical tips on how to keep your skin properly hydrated and radiant throughout the colder months.


Understanding Winter Skin Woes

The winter season is notorious for robbing our skin of its natural moisture. The combination of cold air, low humidity levels, and indoor heating systems can leave our skin feeling dry, tight, and sometimes even itchy. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and chapped lips tend to flare up during this time, making it crucial to adopt a winter-specific skincare routine.


The Lifestyle Medicine Approach

In my practice, I emphasize the importance of a holistic approach to health, and skincare is no exception. Here are some lifestyle medicine principles to keep your skin healthy and hydrated this winter:


1. Stay Hydrated from Within:

Proper hydration begins on the inside. It's important to maintain adequate water intake throughout the day. Herbal teas and water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contribute to overall hydration.

2. Nutrient-Rich Diet:

A well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants supports skin health. Foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish provide essential fatty acids that help maintain the skin's natural barrier.

3. Mindful Skincare:

Use gentle, hydrating cleansers that won't strip the skin of its natural oils. You might find that your regimen has. to switch up during the colder months as what may work in the summer may be inadequate now. I advise fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products, especially for those with sensitive skin.

4. Moisturize Regularly:

The cornerstone of winter skincare is proper moisturization. I recommend a high-quality, emollient-rich moisturizer to be applied after bathing while the skin is still damp. This helps lock in moisture and prevents dryness.

5. Humidify Indoor Spaces:

Indoor heating systems contribute significantly to dry air. Consider using humidifiers to add moisture to the air, particularly in bedrooms where people spend a significant portion of their time.

6. Sunscreen All Year Round:

Remember that the winter sun can be just as damaging as the summer sun. I continue to encourage the use of broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.


Closing Thoughts

As we embrace the winter season, let's not forget to prioritize the health of our skin. By incorporating these lifestyle medicine principles into our daily routines, we can ensure that our skin stays nourished, hydrated, and radiant throughout the colder months. Remember, the key to a winter glow lies not just in external skincare but in cultivating a holistic approach to well-being.

Stay radiant, stay healthy!


Dr. Kim

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