In the winter, the role your environment plays on your skin is obvious. The combination of cold temps outside and warm air inside often creates dry, itchy, irritated skin. Let’s go beyond climate and season, though, and expand to all external factors that can affect your skin. These include: public spaces, chemicals, or minerals in household products, and even your pets.
Here are four common environmental factors to be aware of and how to monitor them for skin health:
- Stay away from sensitizing ingredients, which include fragrances, parabens, and dyes. I urge you avoid these not only in skin-care products, but also in makeup, hair care, and laundry detergent. Once you remove sensitive ingredients from your environment, you might find you don’t have sensitive skin, but rather sensitized skin from external factors.
- It’s likely you touch public hand rails and door knobs, or maybe you have a pet that goes inside and outside a lot; you are exposed to chemicals and germs in those casual instances. Wash your hands throughout the day with a soap that’s free of fragrance and dyes.
- Artificial heat and air affect how sensitized and dry your skin is, and possibly, how much oil your skin produces. What you can do: wear a moisturizer every day and every night. Even if you are extremely oily, you need to add moisture in order to keep your skin from going into “oil-producing mode.”
- You may live in a snowy climate, but your skin is still exposed to the sun. In addition to the risk of skin cancers, sun exposure ages skin more quickly and leaves behind hyperpigmentation. Also, we are constantly exposed to UV rays through windows in our car, home, and office, making a broad-spectrum SPF 15 a must rain or shine.