While the sun is the most dangerous element when it comes to your skin, that doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down during the winter. Harsh winter weather, dry air, and UV exposure can make surviving the elements while maintaining an even complexion difficult. Wind burn, while not as damaging as sun burn in the long term, can make your skin red and irritated. The outer layer of your skin is made up of lipids which keep your skin moisturized but when the air is cold it contains less moisture. This means the elements can breakdown your skin more easily. During the winter the combination of wind friction, exposed skin, and UV exposure can result in wind burn. But wind burn is also easily preventable by taking these simple steps to protect your skin during the winter months.
1. Cover up to protect against the winter elements.
Skin that is exposed to the cold winter air is much more likely to get wind burn. If you’re headed outside and will be exposed to the elements, cover up with a scarf, headband, or face mask. Use SPF on any areas that are exposed, including your lips. Remember it’s the combination of UV exposure and dry, cold air that cause wind burn.
2. Moisturize and repeat using aloe and pine bark extract.
Moisturize impacted areas three to four times per day. Consider a product that contains aloe or pine bark extract. Aloe soothes red, wind burnt skin. Pine bark extract is an anti-inflammatory with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can be used on wind burn, rosacea, and other conditions that cause facial redness.
3. Add in Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that’s very effective when taken topically in a moisturizer or facial cream. But you can also include it in your diet. Great sources of Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, nuts, turnip greens, pine nuts, peanut butter, wheat germ, and avocado.
4. Consider a pain reliever.
If your skin is irritated, you may want to consider a pain reliever. Take an OTC anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or ibuprofen which helps to relieve pain and promote the healing of red, wind burnt, and inflamed skin.
Sara Novak is a Natural Health Care Expert for Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @sarafnovak.