The coldest season often conjures images of hot cocoa, snowball fights, and book reading marathons under comfy duvets, but it also can spell poor driving conditions; bouts with the flu; painfully chapped lips; and dry, cracked skin. For some people in their senior living years, winter is the paramount season for enjoyable recreation; for others, it’s spent hibernating and praying for warmer weather.
As we stay indoors to escape winter’s icy chill, our skin loses moisture from the warm, dry air of our heat-cranked homes. Outside, the dry air of central Pennsylvania is no better from November to April each year. Our hands, feet, and faces are particularly susceptible to skin ailments because the skin in those areas is softer and more vulnerable to the elements. That said, our arms and legs may be affected as well.
It’s a common struggle: How can we keep our skin looking and feeling healthy and supple in the harsh winter months?
Skincare-related precautions to take in the winter months
- Apply lotion. It’s imperative to use skin lotion on your entire body at every stage of life, but especially as you grow older. The skin on your hands, feet, and face (especially under your eyes) is thin and fragile, with fewer oil glands to keep it naturally moisturized. Address this issue with a light to medium amount of lotion each morning and evening.
- Moisturize. Invest in a quality oil-based (not water-based) moisturizer specifically formulated to combat dry and cracked skin. Beware of oil-based moisturizers, however, if you have naturally sensitive skin. Consult a dermatologist or pharmacist nearby or at your senior living community if you have any questions or concerns about which formula is right for you.
- Avoid long hot showers and baths. Long, luxurious hot baths and showers can be the ultimate treat in the winter season, but it’s important to keep their length and frequency to a minimum. If you crank the water temperature up too high, it can cause your skin to further lose moisture. Use warm water as much as possible and limit shower time to 5-10 minutes.
- Use a humidifier. Add some moisture back into your home with a humidifier or two, depending on your individual square footage. Humidifiers act as a natural moisturizing agent that can relieve the symptoms that dryness can cause, including dry skin, sinus congestion/headaches, dry throat, bloody noses, irritated vocal cords, dry cough, and cracked lips. The benefits of investing in a humidifier during senior living are many and worth the minor expense.
- Use SPF all year round (yes, even in the winter!). Protecting your skin when outside from harmful UV rays is important 365 days of the year, especially for the fairer skinned among us. Using SPF on your face is the perfect preventative measure against sun spots, skin tags, excessive wrinkling, and even skin cancer. Find a moisturizer that has SPF infused into its formula – two birds, one stone!
At Brethren Village, we provide services that protect your health inside and out
At Brethren Village Retirement Community, we take pride in creating and maintaining a safe, secure environment for our Residents in all seasons. And we go the extra step to ensure all Residents are able to live their best lives as they enjoy senior living.
The safety and health of our Residents are our highest priorities at Brethren Village. If you are interested in a safe, caring environment at a senior living community, we invite you to visit Brethren Village and learn more about our retirement living and flexible financial plans. We offer a wide array of living options, including independent living, at home care, dementia care, personal care services, and skilled care nursing.
We hope you will contact us to request more information or schedule a tour of our senior residential living community, located near Lititz, voted “The Coolest Small Town in America,” near Lancaster, Pa.