Healthy Tahoe: Winter is tough on your skin, fight back |

Healthy Tahoe: Winter is tough on your skin, fight back

Kathleen Holoyda, MD

Winter is tough on the body’s delicate skin. As temperatures and humidity levels remain low, your skin loses moisture. This is especially true in a cold, dry place like Tahoe.

Dry skin shrinks skin cells, which can lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles on the face and neck. As we age, we also lose some of our subcutaneous tissue and fat that accounts for volume, or plumpness, and elasticity, causing the lines on our face to become deeper and more pronounced.

Though a natural part of the aging process, wrinkles can be lessened with a couple tips and treatments, making our skin appear younger and boosting confidence and self-esteem. 

Moisturize. Moisturizing traps water in your skin, which helps mask tiny lines and creases. Not all moisturizers are created equal: opt for products with active ingredients such as hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening niacinamide, and ceramides. Every person’s skin type is different, but thicker is often better while choosing a skin moisturizer. It is important to identify if your skin type is dry, oily, or combination and choose the product that is right for you.  Note: It may take a few weeks of regular use of the product before you notice any improvement in your skin. 

Enlist help from a humidifier. Available for as little as $30 online or at a pharmacy, humidifiers replace moisture in the air and can be particularly effective for your skin at night. 

Avoid long, hot showers. Though it’s so comforting to stand under a hot stream, hot water removes your skin’s natural oil barrier, causing it to dry out more easily. Keep the water temperature between the high 90s and 100 degrees, no higher. Immediately after bathing, seal in any moisture by applying a thick moisturizer.

Avoid harsh cleansers. Some hand soaps are irritating and can lead to hand eczema, a long-term skin disorder, dermatitis and dryness. Replace these cleansers with more mild, skin-friendly products to prevent dry skin. If you struggle with facial acne, consider talking to your provider or getting a referral for medical-grade skin care.

Drink water. Water is essential for skin health and other functions including joint health, kidney health, and body heat regulation. Drinking caffeinated coffee and alcoholic drinks can lead to dehydration and dry skin. To prevent dehydration, drink one glass of water for each alcoholic or caffeinated beverage consumed.

If you’re thinking: I did NOT prioritize my skin care routine this winter — I was too busy shoveling snow! You are not alone. But it’s not too late to give some TLC to your skin, and undo what’s been done.

For additional help to recover from the harsh winter, dermal fillers, such as Botox or Juvederm, and laser treatments, like Clear + Brilliant, are safe and effective with minimal downtime to help counter the signs of aging. They provide a fuller look, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They work best on healthy skin, so start your skin care regimen today!

Don’t wait until you see signs of wrinkles. Be proactive to save your skin from winter’s wrath or consult a plastic surgeon for options to reverse the damage.

Dr. Kathleen A. Holoyda is a board-eligible plastic and reconstructive surgeon offering skin restoration treatments including injectable fillers, medical-grade skin care, and Clear + Brilliant laser treatment. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 530-543-5799 or visit

Dr. Kathleen Holoyda

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