The cold temperatures outside and dry wintry winds followed by the harsh heat from indoor air can cause your skin to lose moisture and become dry and itchy. In extreme cases, your skin may become so dry it starts to flake or crack. Here are some ways to fight off the uncomfortable wintery dryness and keep your skin soft, moisturized, and healthy.
Adjust Your Routine
When the seasons change, it is a good time to adjust your skincare routine and products to help manage your skin’s needs during the new season. During the winter, choose moisturizers, cleansers, soaps, and body washes that add moisture back into your skin to keep it hydrated and supple.
Be mindful of products containing alcohol, salicylic acid, and retinol as they can be too drying if overused during the winter months. Swap rougher exfoliating brushes and sponges for more gentle washcloths when you exfoliate and apply gentle pressure to prevent over stripping and drying out your skin.
For dry skin on your face, layer your moisturizer with a hydrating serum that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
Continue to wear sunscreen during the winter to protect against harmful UV rays. Even on cloudy days or in snowy conditions your skin can be damaged by the sun’s rays.
If you are trying to stay warm at night with your heater, make sure you remember to add moisture back into the air with a humidifier to prevent your skin from drying.
Lighter lotions and facial moisturizers may not be enough to keep your skin hydrated during the winter depending on where you live.
The best way to prevent dry skin is to moisturize daily, at least twice a day, in the morning and night before you go to bed. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is if you feel your hands or other areas of skin becoming dry, reapply.
Buy products that are non-clogging oil-based as opposed to water-based so the product can add a protective layer on your skin to help retain moisture more than a lotion or cream. Make sure you use the correct products for different areas of your body, your facial skin is more delicate and can break out if you accidentally use a body moisturizer on your face.
No one wants cracked or chapped lips! Use a lip balm to replenish lost moisture and protect them from the dryness of cold outdoor air and indoor heat.
Don’t forget to care for your feet and hands. These areas contain fewer oil glands which can make them harder to keep moist during the winter. Select products that are targeted towards repairing, protecting, and hydrating your hands and feet. Thicker creams and ointments like petroleum jelly are great for locking in extra moisture.
Skip The Hot Water
Though a hot water bath or shower may be tempting to warm you up from the cold outdoors, the intense temperature can strip your skin of natural oils which can lead to dryness. Instead, choose a lukewarm temperature and try to spend less than 15 minutes in the shower. Afterward, pat your skin dry with a soft towel and moisturize immediately. Use Epsom salts, oatmeal, bath oils, and essential oils to add extra hydrating properties to your bathwater.
If you are worried about dry winter skin, consider scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist. We will analyze your skin type, discuss your concerns and goals, and give you advice on which products are right for your skin’s needs this season. If you are wanting to up your look this winter, we can also recommend treatments that will leave you glowing this holiday season. For more information on preventing dry skin this winter or to schedule an appointment, contact Sullivan Dermatology today.