Canadian Winters? Don\'t Let Your Skin Suffer!

Learn how to create healthy skin all year round, no matter which part of Canada you call home.

Where in Canada do you live? Depending on the winter climate, your skin may require unique care.

The mountains or the far North

If you live here, you know a thing or two about brisk winds and crisp, dry air. Before heading outdoors, be sure to slather on a natural occlusive moisturizer with beeswax or cocoa butter to reduce your skin’s water loss. Pull on gloves, wrap a scarf around your face, and keep the wind at your back to keep your moisture to yourself.

Skiers, hikers, and other nature lovers should also remember the sun is as potentially damaging to skin in subzero temperatures as it is in the summer. Use protection. For a soothing treat at home, add hot water to a bowl and toss in a camomile tea bag. Sit with your clean face over the bowl, and tent a towel over your head to trap moist air. Follow with an emollient moisturizer, such as sweet almond or jojoba oil.

The West Coast

While Vancouver doesn’t experience the chilling temperatures typical in much of the country, the arrival of winter should trigger some changes in your skin care routine. Although it may seem counterintuitive, Vancouver’s wet, cool winter can also lead to moisture loss from skin.

Chapped lips and hands are common, and eczema can become worse. Skin colour can also become red or uneven. Soothe skin with oat extract, vitamin E, lavender, and rose. For a comforting pick-me-up, combine half a cucumber with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) plain yogourt. Apply it to your face. Rinse with cool water after 15 minutes.

Snowy regions

When you’re outside shovelling, be sure to stay wrapped up to keep the cold and wind from leaving you dry and feeling sensitive. When you finally head back indoors, remember that abrupt temperature changes are stressful, and don’t rush to melt your bones in front of a roaring fire.

Skin sensitivity conditions such as eczema and rosacea can worsen in winter, so baby your skin with extracts of mallow, cucumber, or calendula. Use soap-free cleansing milks containing healing aloe vera and soothing camomile. Follow with a moisturizer containing nourishing essential fatty acids from primrose or borage oils.

A winter desert

Despite the precipitation, whether rain or snow, Canada is awfully dry in the winter. If it’s not the frigid temperatures, it’s the dehydrating indoor heat. Give your skin a fighting chance by keeping a humidifier in your bedroom. House plants also help to return moisture to the air.

Avoid any skin care products containing alcohol and boost your skin cells’ ability to stay hydrated by taking omega-3 fatty acid in the form of fish oil daily. Remember to drink plenty of water, and when it comes to water temperature, turn down the heat. Although a hot shower might feel good when you come in from the cold, the heat melts lipids that act as a protective moisture barrier for your skin.

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