Q & A with Dr. Sonal Thaker
Are you tired of your skin freaking out during the colder months? Don’t fret! We have some expert advice from our own Curation Content Scientist, Dr. Sonal Thaker. She has a doctorate in neuroscience from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed her postdoc at The University of California, San Diego. So be sure to listen up and take her expert tips to help with your skincare this Winter.
1 . Why is my skin changing right now?
Weather greatly influences your skin condition. The winter weather can be especially harsh bringing cold winds and low humidity that reduce your skin’s natural moisture and barrier function resulting in irritated, dry skin and, in more severe cases, dermatitis1,2. Your face and hands are the most vulnerable since they are often exposed and have thin, delicate skin. Further aggravating the condition is the heater system inside the work and home that can add to drying out the skin.
2 . What can I do to help my skin calm down?
- Moisturize with oil-based products that contain non-clogging ingredients to block water evaporation such as mineral oil, avocado oil, almond oil and lanolin
- Avoid hot showers that may further dry skin
- Use a humidifier when possible inside
- Cover sensitive skin when outside with gloves, scarfs, hats, etc.
3 . Can I change my diet to help with my skin?
Supplementing your diet with the following few key items will support maintaining healthy skin and retaining moisture5-7:
- Drink more water
- Increase intake of fatty acids (fish oil, avocado, olive oil)
- Eat fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, and phytochemicals (citrus fruits, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach)
4 . Will taking supplements help?
Supplements can potentially help especially if you are unable to consume the daily recommended dose of vitamins and fatty acids or if you have a genetic predisposition towards decreased levels of vitamins and fatty acids.
5 . Does everyone’s skin change each season: Fall, Winter, Spring?
Yes, each season is associated with its own environmental factors that differ between regions. So how your skin reacts to your environment and local weather varies.
As we all know, everyone’s skin type and concerns vary, and your DNA plays a large role in that. At Pathway OME, we focus on DNA insights that you can turn into powerful lifestyle changes and a personalized plan for how to care for your skin. You have the option of SKiN iQ with 13 traits, or upgrade to SkinFit to get procedure options and 23 traits.
- Engebretsen, K.A., Johansen, J.D., Kezic, S., Linneberg, A. & Thyssen, J.P. The effect of environmental humidity and temperature on skin barrier function and dermatitis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 30, 223-49 (2016).
- Engebretsen, K.A. et al. Changes in filaggrin degradation products and corneocyte surface texture by season. Br J Dermatol 178, 1143-1150 (2018).
- Top 5 fixes for itchy winter skin. A humidifier, moisturizer, and lukewarm water can help. Harv Health Lett 39, 4 (2014).
- Davis, S. 10 Winter Skin Care Tips. (ed. WebMD) (2007).
- Reese, I. & Werfel, T. Do long-chain omega-3 fatty acids protect from atopic dermatitis? J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 13, 879-85 (2015).
- National Institutes of Health, O.o.D.S. Dietary Supplement Facts Sheets. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
- Myers, C.G. How to Cure Dry Skin With Diet. (LIVESTRONG).