Why Does my Skin Look Bad in the Winter?

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I don’t know about you, but when I think about the oncoming winter I think about my skin drying out from the wind and the cold. I think about how terrible my skin looks at the supermarket, at restaurants, and at work. So I started wondering: why does my skin look so bad in the winter? The answer surprised me.

At first, I thought that my skin looked so bad because it had dried out.

Moisturizers are great at keeping your skin healthy in the winter. My feet dry out the fastest, and quickly become a “danger zone”. My heels crack and split, and it can be painful to walk. My elbows, arms, and face, thankfully, do not reach this same level, but they can get so dry that my skin becomes very patchy. To counteract this, I use moisturizers. But even though I keep my skin clean and healthy, I still look patchy and uneven while I’m out and about.

The visible spectrum of sunlight

If the secret isn’t in keeping my skin hydrated, then what’s wrong?

Believe it or not, the answer is in the lighting. In the winter we are forced to live with considerably less sunshine (It’s pitch black when I’m leaving work); to counteract this we have this nifty invention called the light bulb. Unfortunately there is a very large discrepancy between natural light and the artificial light that comes out of our lamps.

Visible spectrum of artificial light

Sunlight contains the full spectrum of the rainbow (remember Roy G. Biv?), artificial light contains three colors (blue, green, and red). Okay, so what does that mean for your skin?

What it means is that any naturally-occurring blemishes on your skin are going to appear magnified. Why? Because with only three colors to transition through your skin has to blend one extreme color with another extreme color instead of picking and choosing through a large selection.

So my clients’ skin looks uneven because of artificial light; what does this mean for me and my spray tanning business?

This is actually great news for you!

With a spray tan, your skin will look smoother, even under artificial light. Because of this, you can sell a subtle, extremely light spray tan as a product with a focus on “evening out skin tone” rather than “getting a tan”. This can help clear up hyper-pigmentation, acne, and makes your skin look healthy all winter long.
Given that the “slow season” is starting up again soon, this would be a great idea for salons: just remember that it should be marketed less as “a tan” and more about keeping your skin tone even and healthy looking, and as always, remind your clients to maintain a rigid moisturizing regimen.

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