Canadian Winter Skin Woes
Canadian Winter Skin Woes
Cold Canadian winters and indoor heating can leave you troubled by dry, itchy skin.
Cold Canadian winters can have a profound effect on the condition of our skin and can aggravate pre-existing skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Sub-zero temperatures, wind, dry air and indoor heating can lead to what is known as the winter itch. The “winter itch” is very dry skin occurring most commonly on the legs, arms, hands and torso. The skin looks and feels tight, rough, dull, flaky and can accentuate the finest lines. In some cases, the skin may chap and even crack especially in over-exposed areas such the hands and lips. As the term eludes, the winter itch causes the skin to feel itchy leaving us desperately scratching for relief.
Under normal conditions, the surface of the skin has a water content between 10% and 30%. Sebum, our skin’s natural oil, helps to minimize water loss and acts as a natural protective barrier against harsh environmental conditions. When the humidity dips below 60%, which is often the case in heated indoor atmosphere, our skin loses more moisture than what it can replace. Signs of dry skin appear when the water content of our outer surface of the skin falls below 10%. The wind and outside cold dry air further dries out our skin. Long hot showers and detergents can also exuberate our dry skin by stripping our protective natural skin oil causing our skin to be able to retain less moisture.
There are two strategies to maintain healthy skin during the winter. First, we can help our skin to minimize moisture loss and secondly, we can help to keep it moist.
There are basically two types of skin moisturizers; emulsions (i.e., creams, lotions) and balms (ointments). Emulsions are suspensions of oily substances and water while balms are oily substances and waxes.
Emulsions are usually white and disappear when rubbed into the skin without leaving a greasy feel. The water in an emulsion instantly hydrates the skin while the oils help trap and seal the water in the skin. The oils will also help to minimize further water loss. Emollients are not as rich in oils as balms and are best used for the face and body.
Balms are usually beige colour, thick and tend not to sink into the skin rapidly. They have a greasy consistency and feel slippery. If rubbed in well and with a little time, the skin will absorb the balm and the greasy feeling will subside. Being waterless, balms moisturize the skin indirectly. The waxes such as beeswax seal in the oils into the skin creating a protective barrier. The barrier helps the skin to re-hydrate itself by minimizing water loss. It also protects the skin from losing more precious moisture against harsh environmental elements such as dry winter winds. Balms are much richer in oils than emollients and are best used for problematic areas such as lips, hands and feet. They can even protect the skin after washing.
Green Beaver Après-Ski : A Natural Canadian Solution
A Canadian company, The Green Beaver Company has developed a natural winter skin care line called Après-Ski. The Après-Ski products were formulated to protect and relieve the driest, roughest and itchiest skin. The products are naturally rich with shea and cocoa butter for maximum hydration. Après-Ski products are enriched with skin soothing colloidal oatmeal and other nourishing plant extracts such as aloe.
Après-Ski products are 100% natural without petroleum derived ingredients, silicone, artificial fragrances, dyes, methylparaben or other unwanted chemical preservatives.
Winter Body Lotion : Highly moisturizing botanical emollients sink deep into the skin leaving it silky soft and comfortable. Soothing colloidal oatmeal instantly relieves itchy feeling skin. Suitable for eczema and psoriasis proned skin.
Winter Face Cream : Extra rich shea and cocoa butter will replenish tight, dry skin after a day in the great Canadian outdoors. Non-greasy and quick absorbing. Naturally suitable for sensitive skin.
Winter Hand Balm : For instant relief from extra dry, cracked hands and cuticles (great for rough elbows and feet too !). Warm it up in the palms of your hands and rub it into the skin. The beeswax will seal in the rich plant oils and create a protective barrier against further chapping and cracking.
Winter Lip Balm : A soft, long-lasting balm that will soothe and protect red, dry lips caused by arctic winds. Enriched with skin-healing aloe and vitamin E. Unflavoured so you won’t lick your lips dry again !
Winter Bath Therapy : A couple of tablespoons of natural oatmeal powder in your bath water will instantly relieve a tight, itchy-feeling back! After your bath, gently pat dry (do not rub) in order not to take away the soothing oatmeal. Apply the winter body lotion when skin is still damp to seal in the oatmeal and moisture. Very favourable for eczema and psoriasis proned skin.
All our products are proudly made in
Other winter skin saving tips…
- Wash with warm water (not hot) and use mild soaps. Hot water and harsh soaps can remove natural oils from the skin.
- Sprinkle colloidal oatmeal in your bath water. Oatmeal soothes dry skin and helps retain moisture on the skin.
- After washing, gently pat skin (don’t rub dry). Moisturize while skin is still slightly damp to trap moisture in.
- Use moisturizers high in natural emollients specifically formulated for dry skin.
- After washing hands, apply a deep penetrating balm to help prevent dry, cracked skin.
- Protect your skin from cold windy conditions. Apply a rich face cream and a long-lasting natural lip balm before going outside. Don’t forget your hat, scarf and gloves !
- Exfoliating the dead skin layer of dry skin will allow a moisturizer to sink in deeper
- Maintain a comfortable level of humidity in your home. Indoor heating dries out the air.
- Drink plenty of water. The body needs water to keep going and if it doesn’t have enough it will draw from your skin’s water reservoir.
For more information about The Green Beaver Company, please visit www.greenbeaver.com or call Alain Ménard at 1-888-666-1206. Alain Ménard is the co-founder of The Green Beaver Company.
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