The days have shortened, and the mercury is dipping as we are a few weeks into winter. For many, winter brings the joy of skiing, snowshoeing and other outdoor activities and for others, it's cozying up with a good book by the fire.


But the one thing that we all can agree on is that although winter activities are a highlight for many living in the Okanagan, it also takes a toll on your skin - feeling dry, dull and often (because of the dryness) quite irritated. If this sounds familiar to you, here are a few tips to help you get relief from the dryness of winter and get that healthy glow back.


Add Moisture to the Air

A great way to help with the lack of moisture in the air is to invest in a humidifier for your home, particularly for your bedroom. One of the primary culprits of Okanagan winters is that the ambient humidity is low, which is then compounded by switching on the furnace to stay toasty warm. We work hard to keep our bodies hydrated by consuming our eight glasses a day, but in this climate will rapidly suck water from your skin, making it difficult to drink enough water.  Using a humidifier will slow down the moisture-loss process, and your skin will thank you for it.


Barrier Protection & Repair

Another tool to relieve dry itchiness and restore that dewy complexion is to add an oil-based barrier cream such as Eminence’s Rosehip and Lemongrass Repair Balm or an Oleo Gel from Dermaviduals. By using a barrier cream over top of your regular night cream, or when your swishing down the slopes your skin will be protected and soothed by supporting a healthy barrier function and slow down the loss of water from the surface. Using a barrier cream will keep the balance of oil and water tipped in your skin's favour!


Winter Aging Rays

Sun protection is a crucial step that is often overlooked during the grey days of winter. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security of not needing an SPF.  Did you know that even during the winter, and with cloud cover, UVA (“A” as in Aging) rays are still causing sun damage? While you don’t need the same level of protection as you would in the summer, a daily SPF 15 will keep the premature ageing rays at bay.


Speaking of UV damage, I still hear clients feeling the need to use the tanning beds at this time of year to boost their mood. Although I understand the need, this is not at all safe for your skin. Instead, I highly recommend sitting in front of a SAD lamp instead.


Tropical Tips

If you like to get away from the cold of the Okanagan for a tropical vacation, be even more mindful of protecting your skin. As tempting as it is to hit the beach to warm up and get a tan, wear a wide-brimmed hat and liberally apply SPF 30. When you’re coming from a cold winter climate with light skin to the beautiful sunshine of the south, you’re in prime position to burn. I think we all know how uncomfortable tight, tender and sore red skin feels.


If you're doing all of these things and your skin is still feeling tight, dry and irritated, it may be time to have a professional skin therapist give you direction. An Advanced Skin Consultation will assess what’s happening to your skin on the surface as well below what the naked eye can see using technology like the Observ skin scanner plus go over your current products to ensure you’re not inadvertently doing more damage than good. You’ll be given a highly targeted, custom home care and clinic treatment plan to take home, so you know your exact next steps for revealing healthy, youthful skin.


Although our warm Okanagan summers are what make us famous, winter can be just as much fun – especially when you’re comfortable in your skin!


With Smiles