Windburn Takes The Cold Girl Trend Too Far. Here's How To Prevent And Treat It

If you're a regular on TikTok, you've probably seen a couple of TikTokers talking about various trends like the sad girl or clean girl beauty trends. One of the latest beauty trends to have gone viral is the "I'm cold" or cold girl trend. Think of flushed pink cheeks and that perfect ice sparkle from frolicking in the snow. While there's no doubt this beauty trend is gorgeous, it's not to be confused with the actual horror of being stuck in the cold. Besides not being a glamorous look, cold weather can bring about a series of issues, including windburn.


As Mary L. Stevenson, MD, a dermatologic surgeon, explains to Health, windburn is a type of skin irritation that comes with complications. "Basically, the top layer of our skin gets damaged, and we end up with dry, red, and flaky skin," says Stevenson. You'll see evidence of windburn if you are out during extremely low temperatures and windy conditions. What makes windburn more dangerous is that it can even create a sunburn-type reaction by intensifying UV rays. Even if you can't see the sun, UV rays can still shine through the clouds and give you a sunburn, helped by windburn. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to avoid and treat a windburn, so the only red thing is your flushed blush.

How to prevent windburn

If you want to avoid dry, flaky skin caused by windburn, there are measures to protect your skin against the elements. During the months of extreme wind and temperatures, you want to go with a gentle skincare routine that will keep your skin hydrated. Having a harsh skincare routine will only leave your skin vulnerable to the toughness of the wind and sun. David Lortscher, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Curology, warns via Prevention, "This includes over-the-counter products containing retinol and prescription topicals containing retinoids (such as tretinoin), and treatments such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels for at least several days before (sun and wind) exposure." In the meantime, focus your skincare routine on moisturizing and hydrating your skin before heading out to dry conditions.


Reid Health adds that another simple way to prevent windburn is by adding another layer that can protect your skin. Thankfully, oversized scarves are a practical trend that can help cover up the bottom half of your face while keeping you chic. You can add a beanie and cover up the forehead area. Covering up will help keep your skin hydrated and away from the elements. If you must expose your skin, ensure you use a thick moisturizing or barrier cream, and sunscreen. The moisturizing cream will lock in moisture and add a protective shield to your skin. Sunscreen will help protect you against any UV rays that could cause a sunburn effect on your skin.

Best way to treat windburn

Although we can all try our best to keep our skin protected and secure, it can get away from us from time to time. The best thing you can do to treat windburned skin is to soothe the area and let it heal. Omni Running suggests applying a moisturizing lotion, like aloe vera, that contains no fragrances or chemicals. Let the area heal by avoiding further exposure and avoiding extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures include hot water in your shower. Although relaxing with a hot shower or bath after a cold day is ideal, the hot water can further damage windburned skin.


One home remedy that has been proven to help treat windburned skin is oatmeal. According to Health Pages, simply make oatmeal as you regularly would, except for sugar or milk, and let it out to cool. Once the oatmeal has reached room temperature and is comfortable to handle, apply a generous amount to the affected areas. Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, making it the ideal solution for windburns. This soothing oatmeal paste should be left for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing.