If you have dry skin, winter is probably not your favorite season. Winter and dry air can cause dry skin and even cause the skin to be itchy and flaky. Here are some ways to soothe and prevent dry skin this winter:
- Forget the hot showers. When it is reaching below zero outside, a hot shower is probably the best sounding thing in the world. But hot water will only irritate your skin further. The hot water will strip your skin of natural oils. Aim for a warm, not hot, shower and keep it short. Aim for 5 to 10 minutes. Same goes for baths. After your bath or shower, pat your skin dry gently and use a good moisturizer.
- Use gentle cleansers, products and laundry detergents. Look for natural products, those aimed towards helping heal dry skin and no fragrances. Try to avoid toners or other products that are made with alcohol, which are very drying. If you must use such products, don’t use them too often. Also, exfoliate less often if your skin is dry and peeling because it can irritate skin further.
- If you work in a job where you have to wash your hands very often or use hand sanitizer, make sure to use lotion after to retain some moisture. Keep a rich hand lotion with you at all times.
- Shave smarter. Use winter as a time to shave less because shaving can irritate dry skin and scrap off natural oils, but if you need to, use these tips. Shave after a shower or bath when the hair is softer, use a shaving cream or gel that is moisturizing, and shave in the direction your hair grows. Make sure to throw away razors with a dull blade and replace them often to avoid irritation.
- Avoid sun damage – yes, even in winter. The sun still shines in winter and can damage your skin, even behind clouds and in cold weather. Prevent dry skin and wrinkles caused by the sun by wearing sunscreen and dressing in layers. Use lip balm with SPF to prevent those dry, chapped lips that often plague you in winter. Also, be sure to wear hats and scarves when out in the cold. Cold wind whipping at your face is a sure way to cause dry and irritated skin.
- Moisturize well. If you have very dry and cracked skin, petroleum jelly works very well. Also, look for rich and thick moisturizers that contain shea butter, stearic acid, glycerin or ceramides. Moisturize in the morning and at night. If your hands and feet get extremely dry and crack or bleed, try slathering on lotion and sleeping in gloves or socks to retain the moisture overnight. It is also best to apply moisturizer to damp skin to allow the skin to trap in moisture.
- Use a humidifier. If you regularly get cold, dry air inside, you might need to use a humidifier. Heating your house can remove moisture in the air and make dry skin worse. You may also need a humidifier if you have other dry air symptoms such as a bloody nose. Humidifiers are often used in the bedroom and if you use one, aim for indoor humidity of 50%. Don’t forget to clean your humidifier often because it can trap fungus and mold. If you don’t clean it, you just put that back out into the air and it could make you sick.
Do you ever get dry skin? Is it worse in the winter months? What are your favorite moisturizers, lotions or remedies to get rid of dry skin? Share with us your