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Extreme Cold Damage

face skin damaged by cold

Can extremes in temperature damage your skin?

Can extremes in temperature damage your skin? How can you treat damaged skin?

Are Temperature Extremes Bad for Your Skin?

A number of days in Canberra last week, it was freezing and icy cold. On the Friday the outside temperature was minus 3 degrees. We ride our kids by bike to school because they love riding. Trying to get the kids to school on time, I rushed out the door and only applied minimal moisturiser on my face.

Cold Air Damage

During the ride there was strong wind and I could feel my face was cold. I came home straight away but when I arrived home my face felt stingy and burning. I looked in the mirror and saw it was slightly red and dry. I quickly put on some more moisturiser and went about my day.

Hot Water Damage

At night I did my usual cleansing routine but instead of using lukewarm water to cleanse my face, I used slightly hot water. My face felt clean but it was unusually tight indicating dryness. I thought nothing of it and carried on with the rest of my night routine steps - serum and moisturiser.

Will Salt Help?

A few repeated nights of washing with hot water I saw red patches developing and my face felt stingy. I tried a few days of self-treatment with washing my face with warm Epsom salts and applying a generous amount of serum and moisturiser.

My face got slightly better but it hasn’t disappeared. For the past 1.5 weeks my face is itchy, flaky and has red rashes that look like eczema (self-diagnosed). It’s the first time that I experienced this kind of facial skin inflammation.

Root Causes

There were a number of factors that lead to inflammation:

  1. Minus temperatures hitting Canberra earlier.
  2. Washing my face with slightly hot water for repeated days.
  3. Not enough moisturiser that day for protection.

3 Steps to Treat the Inflammation

I’m now embracing less is more to treat the inflamation. Here are the 3 steps:

  1. Wash and wipe my face with normal temperature water (pre-boiled and allowed to cool).
  2. Apply fresh aloe vera plant to the inflamed area to cool and soothe the itchiness.
  3. As the redness reduces, apply moisturiser to hydrate and prevent moisture loss.

I will share my progress in next month’s newsletter.

3 Takeaway Actions to Help Your Skin

I hope that your skin is not suffering like mine. 3 takeaways actions that will help your skin during winter:

  1. Cleanse your face using lukewarm water.
  2. Apply a serum with antioxidant ingredients (e.g. vitamin e, green or white tea) and follow-up with a rich moisturiser. If you have dry skin this step is particularly important because it will keep your skin hydrated and nourished.
  3. Stay well-hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water.

Cold Climate, Warm Climate

I hope you’re coping well in winter. In Canberra we get icy cold mornings and often we’re seeing frost in the morning while riding our kids to school. The other day I asked my husband (Paul) whether there’s any chance we can move to a warmer climate. He was born and raised in Canberra, so he responded by having insulation installed underneath our house. It’s great and I’m sensing that we’ll be in Canberra for a while. :-)

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Reviewer
Teang Pao