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For much of the country, summer weather is still in effect. Here in Huntington Beach, CA, it is bright, sunny and 79 degrees fahrenheit, despite being the second official day of fall. That’s pretty common for Southern California, of course, but even on the other side of the country, the Northeast coast or New York City, to be specific, the weather is still very warm and very bright, but winter will be here before we know it.

With season changes comes colder temperatures. Cold weather can be damaging to the skin, for a number of reasons, and those with sensitive skin and/or diagnosed imbalances within the body’s largest organ must make additional efforts to protect the skin or repair it after damage has taken place. Below I’ve included some of the most common cold weather skin problems, and how to address them:

  1. Winter Itch
    Winter itch is a phrase used to describe dry skin discomfort and an itching sensation, which is heightened during the winter months. This issue can be brought on for a number of reasons, yet the leading causes for it include very low temperatures outside, a lack of humidity or dry heat within the home, or clothing. Those at risk for winter itch are older individuals and/or those with a history of eczema and other dry skin conditions. Be sure to bundle up, consider purchasing a humidifier, and wear cottons or silks, as wool is likely to cause further irritation.
  1. Breakouts and Rashes
    Dry, cold weather can also lead to rashes and/or acne breakouts, not just itching. You may notice more pimples or red patches and flaking on your face or body. To combat these, use non-drying cleanser and moisturizers suited for your type of skin to encourage quick rejuvenation.
  2. Sunburn
    Colder weather doesn’t mean the absence of the sun. It’s still just as important to apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your body, to decrease the chance of being burned. Many people fall victim to winter sunburns. If you’re one of them, use skin healing/soothing lotions and creams or coconut oil if you’re looking for a natural remedy.

Overall, be sure to look after your skin as you normally would (or more). Winter weather doesn’t mean you need to moisturize less; apply lotion to your entire body, even it will be covered up most of the day. Lastly, beware that steaming, hot showers, though comforting, make your skin dryer–stick to warm water.