Your moisturizer can actually hurt your skin during a polar vortex
Here’s a piece of news that will make you want to cry (frozen) tears: It is currently colder in some parts of the country than it is in Antarctica, Siberia, and the North Pole. Yep, it’s that cold. Along with frostbite, the sub-zero temperatures and sharp wind of a polar vortex can make skin even drier, flakier, and more red than it can get on an average cold, breezy, winter day. Switching to a thicker, richer moisturizer to keep moisture levels high is winter skincare 101, but did you know that it’s in your best interest to make another moisturizer swap when a polar vortex is in your five day forecast? I didn’t, that is, until I saw a tip that celebrity facialist Joanna Czech recently shared on a client’s Instagram Story.
So, I reached out to her to get more info on why the winter moisturizer you use is dependent on just how cold it is outside. Czech says to avoid using water-based moisturizers in sub-zero weather like a polar vortex because the water in the formula can freeze in the pores and lead to broken capillaries, not to mention your skin won’t get hydrated.
Instead, Czech recommends using a thicker, richer, oil-based moisturizer because this type of formula will protect the lipidic layer of the skin, which keeps moisture from escaping the skin.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City breaks down the difference between water-based creams and ointments.
Since our body temperature is normally 98.6 degrees, your body temperature can prevent creams from freezing even when the weather outside is below freezing. But taking the extra precaution by swapping out your water-based cream won’t hurt since the only way to really treat broken capillaries is with lasers and electrolysis, which Czech says are only temporary fixes.