The winter may not be officially here yet, but the temperatures are already dropping and the winds have picked up. As much as I’m putting off wearing my heavy coat as long as possible, I know it won’t take many more days before I don’t have a choice but to wear it, especially when I go out after the sun sets (way too early!).
Over the last few years, I’ve had to do a little bit more preparing other than boots and a jacket. I’ve found that my cheeks have been a little more rosy than everyone else’s and that I need to use the right steps to stop it from getting worse. The thing is that I don’t just have rosy cheeks from the chill. I have rosacea, subtype 1. That involves redness, burning, itching and a lot of other symptoms I’d really rather avoid if at all possible.
According to the National Rosacea Society, many rosacea sufferers – myself included – find that winter is a very tough time of year. The dry heat inside and the cold and wind outside wreak havoc on my face, leaving me looking and feeling chapped and uncomfortable. Here are the steps I take to keep things under control:
Head to the doctor – I don’t do this every year anymore, but when I first started struggling with rosacea, I found that my doctor and dermatologist had some great suggestions to help get me started. This included things I should do as well as the things I shouldn’t. In both cases, some of the tips surprised me so I always recommend seeing a doctor first when I talk to other people.
Get the right skin care – Winter skin care is not the same as summer skin care. I put away the exfoliant (which I rarely use anyway) and get out a creamier cleanser, a hydrating serum (a step I skip in the summer, and a heavier skin oil moisturizer instead of just a lotion. I also remember to wear my SPF in the daytime, only a creamier form of it because the sun reflects off snow so it’s just as much of a rosacea trigger in winter as it is in summertime. I also have a cooling and healing salve that I wear overnight to help my skin recover from the day while protecting it from dryness in my home.
Stock up on scarves – Protecting my face from the cold and wind is a very important step. It’s just as important as protecting from heat and humidity in summertime. When I have to head outside, I need a scarf to pull up over my face (as well as a hat, of course). That said, not all scarves are created equal. Depending on the day, the wind and the temperature, I have lighter ones and I have much bulkier ones. There are ones I can wrap around my neck “just in case” or ones I wear pulled right up over my nose.
Get a humidifier – A cold mist humidifier (not a hot water one) is great to keep the humidity where it should be, particularly in my bedroom at night. It’s great for my face, but also for the rest of my dry skin and it’s easier to breathe, too.
Keep up to date – The National Rosacea Society and bloggers like Talonted Lex and Rosy JulieBC are always posting new information, testing new products and sharing great tips about how to cope with this skin condition. I’ve subscribed to them all and have learned a lot from them. There’s no one source with all the answers and studies are always being conducted. It’s great to hear about all the latest discoveries.