When we think about winter weather, we think dry hands, cracked noses, red cheeks— basically, we’re reminded of a slew of unsavory skin conditions that colder temperatures inflict upon us.
But, given that we have a few more months of freezing weather to endure, we decided to put on our rose colored glasses and see if there are actually some perks to those icy winds. After learning the following five ways chilly temps can actually help your skin, we’ve decided that maybe cold weather really isn’t so bad after all.
1. It helps keep pores clog-free.
Cold weather can act as a tonic or astringent, says Cecilia Wong, founder and facialist at Cecilia Wong Skincare in New York City. It helps to reduce clogs and keep pores less visible and refined. Cold weather also slows down and prevents the secretion of sebum, keeping shine at bay and reducing acne.
2. It can improve your sleep.
Getting a full night’s sleep is necessary for skin health, from reducing under eye circles to making sure your complexion stays glowing. Too-high nighttime temps actually disturb sleep—causing tossing and turning for most people—while coldness mimics the body’s natural drop in internal temperature, which occurs a couple hours after we hit the hay. Therefore, most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep.
3. It reduces puffiness.
Wong says that cold weather promotes blood circulation in both the face and body, having a magical effect on reducing inflammation and swelling to the eyes and face.
4. It can keep you looking younger.
Cold weather enhances the complexion and rejuvenates skin, Wong says. In a way, it slows down the aging process—think of cryotherapy spa treatments or splashing cold water on your face in the morning—and keeps skin tight, vibrant and radiant.
5. It helps you burn fat.
Okay, so this is more of an all-over-your-body effect of cold weather, but it can make a significant impact on your general appearance: In 2012, researchers discovered that cold weather appears to trigger calorie burn. Basically, cold temps signal your “brown fat” (the fat that allegedly helps burn your other “white fat”) to get to work, meaning that winter weather can be the catalyst for weight loss.