As the seasons change and we are faced with dry winter air our skin takes the hardest toll on our bodies. The cold dry air often leaves our skin dry, itchy, irritated and red. Don’t panic as there are some tips to follow to help alleviate dry winter skin.
I have found that following these tips has helped with my dry winter skin:
· Reframe from taking hot showers – when the temperatures drop we are tempted to warm ourselves up by taking a long hot shower. However, the hot water dries out the skin by robbing it of its natural oils. The alternative is to take a shorter shower or bath in lukewarm water. This also applies to washing your hands. Avoid using hot water to wash your hands as it can turn your skin red if the water’s too hot.
· Select your soap carefully – selecting the wrong soap often worsens dry, itchy skin. Regular bar soaps generally contain irritating ingredients and fragrance. The alternative would be to start using fragrance-free, moisturizing cleansers or gels. Using less soap can also help prevent winter skin problems.
· Moisturize often – to maintain healthy skin remember to moisturize after washing. Dry your hands and body by blotting the skin dry, don’t rub. Then apply a moisturizer immediately after to seal the water into the skin. Using lotions, cream or ointments are best for warmer, humid climates. Remember to wear waterproof gloves while washing dishes or general household chores then apply hand cream after each washing.
· Adjust your facial skin care procedure for the season – choose cream-based cleansers and apply toners and astringents for the winter months. Some astringents contain alcohol which can dry skin out even more. Select products that contain little or no alcohol but be aware that if your skin is oily this approach is not for you. Remember to apply a rich moisturizer on your face at night.
· Use sunscreen – even during the winter months it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Apply a moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher before going outside. This should be applied to all exposed skin.
· Examine your wardrobe – although a nice warm sweater sounds good on cold days the fabric can aggravate dry winter skin. By keeping wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin this can alleviate itchy, irritated, dry skin. Instead, wear soft breathable materials under that favorite sweater. Most importantly is to protect your hands. Wearing gloves or mittens will protect them from the cold and from drying out.
· Change your thermostat – when it’s chilly out the first thing we do is to crank up the thermostat. Central heat can make the air in your home dry. Setting the thermostat to a comfortable 68°F to 72°F will help maintain healthy winter skin.
· Use a humidifier – using a humidifier in your home can add moisture to the dry winter air and will help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the room that gets the most time spent in, such as the bedroom.
· Drink plenty of water – the most important tip to keep in mind is to drink plenty of water when your skin is very dry. Although supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed oil can help restore the skin’s hydration, the best approach is to drink more water.
Following some simple tips this season will help aid in getting that healthy winter skin. Keep in mind that only practicing one tip may not achieve the results you are hoping for.