Do you have a big ski trip or another outdoor adventure planned? All that time outdoors requires extra care and planning for your skin. Start working on your windburn prevention the week before you leave. Discontinue use of any skin care products that strip or heavily exfoliate your skin, like alpha-hydroxy and salicylic acids or retinoids. Also, save your spa trips for later. You don't want to do any kind of dermabrasion or peels right before you spend a lot of time outside in the winter cold [source: Baumann].
Protecting Against Windburn
Ever spend time out in a stiff winter wind and realize that your skin feels angry and sore? Cold winter
wind can cause an unpleasant skin condition known as windburn. When the wind repeatedly chafes your skin, the friction from the wind acts like sandpaper. As with sunburn, windburn can leave your skin red, raw and blistered. A severe windburn might even peel like a sunburn.
Your best line of defense against windburn is to prevent it all together. Try these three windburn prevention tricks:
- Use moisturizer -- Use a thick, heavy cream to serve as a barrier against the wind and to trap as much moisture in your skin as possible.
- Apply petroleum jelly -- Yes, it's goopy and gooey, but petroleum jelly makes an excellent windshield. Petroleum jelly not only prevents the wind from touching your skin but also acts as a strong moisturizer [source: Baumann].
- Bundle up -- Although people often wear several layers during cold months, it's important to remember your face is extremely susceptible to windburn. It might make you feel like a bank robber, but a ski mask will help keep the wind off your face. Wearing a hat and a scarf also protects your head, neck and face. Don't forget to keep your sensitive ears covered. Biting wind and cold can cause painful infections in unprotected ears.
Most injuries from the cold are minor and will heal in time. Some can be more severe than others, however, and require personal treatment. If you do get windburn, frequently apply a good moisturizer or aloe vera to help heal the burned skin [source: WebMD].
Now that you know how to deal with the winter air and winter winds, read on to learn how to deal with the winter sun.