Along this season, skin is exposed to adverse climatic factors such as cold and wind, combined with dry heat of the environment alters the hydro-lipid film that protects the skin, increasing the loss of water. Skin is dehydrated, dry, accelerating skin aging and increasing the symptomatology in atopic individuals. The most sensitive areas to low temperatures are cheeks, lips, neck, neckline and hands.

Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and healthy habits are of great importance to maintain your skin young. However it is important to ask a dermatologist in order to decide which products are most suitable according to your type of skin, sports activities, working environment, etc. aiming to protect the skin at this time of the year and thus avoid the premature aging.

The AEDV (Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology) provides 10 tips to protect the skin in winter:

1. Moisturize the skin daily and several times during the day. The use of emollient creams will help to keep a healthy skin during the winter.

2. Avoid washing excessively the hands. It is important the use of gloves and creams with barrier effect.

3. Don’t use aggressive products for the face and body. Choose gentle and good quality products.

4. Avoid taking showers with very hot or very cold water. This would increase the dehydration of the skin.

5. Moisturize lips and protect them from the ultraviolet rays. Lips suffer much in winter and therefore the use of lip products with sunscreen and emollients is highly recommended.

6. Don’t forget using sunglasses and solar protection daily in winter. You must use a minimum of SPF 30, especially in exposed areas: face, hands, neck and neckline. If you are undergoing any skin treatment or if you are at places where there is snow, the protection must be greater than 50.

7. Wear gloves and winter clothing, especially on those patients with cold sensitivity, chilblains predisposition or with Raynaud’s disease (cold fingers of the hands)

8. Avoid sudden temperature changes; this increases the appearance of dilated capillary (telangiectasia) on the face (especially cheeks).

9. Healthy nutrition is very important. Increase the consumption of vitamin C and antioxidants. Do not forget to drink between 1.5-2 liters of water per day.

10. Avoid smoking and alcohol, its consumption acts negatively on the health of our skin, generating free radicals. In addition, alcohol worsens facial capillary dilation.

But not all is care and protection, at this time of the year is indicated to perform rejuvenating facial depigmenting treatments, chemical peelings, etc. that will help us to rejuvenate the skin and may not be carried out when there is high exposure to the sun, this is the way to prepare the skin to the summer.

Ana Vulcano M.D.


Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires

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