How to prevent dry skin when traveling to cold countries

by Justine Punzalan
Nov 26, 2019
"When our skin is exposed to cold air, para siyang nagbibitak-bitak, e," says dermatologist Cricelda Valencia. She recommends using moisturizer two to three times a day.
PHOTO/S: lifeforstock

Traveling to a cold country this Christmas season?

One thing you should not undermine is the effect of the cold weather, which is said to be the number one cause of dry skin.

To prevent it from stripping your skin of its much-needed moisture and to keep it soft and supple, you need a beauty regimen.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) consulted Dr. Cricelda Valencia, a dermatologist, and asked for some tips.

She began, "Madalas iyan, madami iyan mga Pinoy, kapag pumupunta sa ibang bansa na medyo malamig, nag-a-act iyong hika nila sa balat o sobrang nagda-dry skin nila.

"When our skin is exposed to cold air, para siyang nagbibitak-bitak, e.

"So kapag nagbibitak-bitak siya, mas nakakapasok iyong allergens or substances that cause allergic reactions.

"Iyong mga not-so-friendly temperature, mas nangangati ka talaga."

The interview with Dr. Valencia took place on Friday, November 22, at her clinic in Patient First Medical Center, Quezon City.

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What do you need?

Dr. Valencia said these three beauty products are must-haves: (1) moisturizer (2) sunscreen (3) lukewarm water.

STEP 1: APPLY MOISTURIZER two TO three TIMES A DAY

Moisturizer protects the skin against the harmful substances of the weather, so don't leave the house without it.

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Dr. Valencia added, "You apply it twice to three times a day before you put on your sunblock.

"What the moisturizer does is that it acts like a cement para hindi siya magbibitak-bitak.

"It also acts as a seal din para meron kang layer dito na protected, hindi siya masyadong naapektuhan ng cold weather."

On facial cleanser, choose a brand that's gentle on your skin. It has to be "lightweight, colorless and mild."

STEP 2: USE SUNBLOCK WITH SPF 15

Sunblock is a must when you're at the beach.

But according to Dr. Valencia, it is absolutely necessary in any kind of weather, outdoor and indoor.

She explained, "The sun kasi even if it's cloudy, nakakapasok pa rin siya, napi-pierce niya pa rin iyong skin.

"And also when the sun hits the pavement, the pavement can also bounce off that sunlight to your face.

"So, even when we're talking inside the room, the light coming from this ceiling, your computer, your cellphone, also emit UV radiation, so that can give you sun damage pa rin."

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Dr. Valencia recommended using a sunblock labeled as broad-spectrum.

She elaborated, "When you look for a sunblock, you look for one with broad-spectrum para it can protect you from UVA and UVB.

"The sun kasi, meron siyang UVA and UVB.

"UVA is the type of sun's rays that is responsible for skin aging.

"UVB naman is the type of sun ray na nag-co-cause ng skin cancer."

For sunblock's sun protection factor or SPF, the dermatologist prescribed a minimum SPF of 15, and then kung talagang bleached ka, you can apply SPF 30 or 50."

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Apply the sunblock generously all over your body, especially your "face and neck."

She underlined, "Madalas na-neglect ang neck, e, so ang unang tumatanda talaga is the neck, also the hands. Hindi naman kasi natin sina-sunblock ito, usually the face lang talaga."

She added, "You have to apply the sunblock at least 20 minutes before you go outdoors and reapply every two hours, ideally iyon—dapat every two hours."

If you're wearing makeup, Dr. Valencia advised that you remove your make-up each time you re-apply your sunblock.

"Ideally, remove make-up first kasi baka mag-clog ang pores if you put it over make-up."

Those who like wearing make-up, use pressed powder or foundation with "built-in SPF."

STEP 3: WASH YOUR FACE with lukewarm water

Strictly a no-no: Washing the face with hot water, especially after you are exposed to cold wind.

Wash and bathe in lukewarm water, Dr. Valencia said.

"Ang hot kasi can dilate your blood vessels, e.

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"Pagka-hot, puwedeng mamula ang mukha mo afterwards.

"Mai-irritate lalo ang existing lesions mo or if dry ka, lalo kang magda-dry."

If you take your dry skin for granted, it may lead to the following skin complications:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)—which is characterized by excessive dryness, and can lead to activation of the disease, causing redness, cracking, and inflammation.
  • Infections—a condition where bacteria enters the skin through cracks.
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"When our skin is exposed to cold air, para siyang nagbibitak-bitak, e," says dermatologist Cricelda Valencia. She recommends using moisturizer two to three times a day.
PHOTO/S: lifeforstock
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