Dry skin at any time of the year is a frustration. But winter seems to bring out the dry skin in full force, leaving us to deal with itchy and painful patches of skin throughout the entire season. Hands often take the worst beating, but no area of your skin is truly safe when the temperatures plummet.
When you understand the reasons for especially dry skin in the winter, you’ll know what to do to prevent the bothersome problem. Use these skin care tips in the winter to prevent dry skin.
Why Skin Gets Dry in the Winter
It’s not your fault. Winter conditions combine to form the perfect storm for dry skin.
- Winter air is cold and dry. Its low humidity means the water in your skin actually evaporates more quickly, causing flaky, dry, and tight skin. If you add winter wind into the mix, your skin really takes a beating.
- The cold air sends most of us scurrying inside to the nice, warm indoors. And while indoor heating is an invention we’ll never be upset about, it does dry out the air — which leads, again, to dry skin.
- Winter brings flu season, and with that comes the need for frequent hand washing. The soap and water can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading the skin on your hands to dry out, and even become chapped.
- Hot showers sound divine when the temperatures drop below freezing, but high temperatures can also strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving the skin on your body thirsty for moisture.
7 Ways to Take Care of Skin in the Winter Season
These seven tips for nourishing and protecting your dry skin during the winter months will keep the alligator skin at bay.
- Use a humidifier in your home
- Use the proper type of moisturizer
- Wear sunscreen
- Protect your hands
- Take warm showers and baths
- Relieve stress
- Keep exfoliating
Use a Humidifier in Your Home
Your heater is working overtime to keep you toasty and cozy in your home. But it’s also blasting hot, dry air all throughout your home. Use humidifiers throughout your home, especially at night, to replace the moisture in the air that’s being lost through the heater. Experts recommend that you keep the humidity level of your home between 30% and 50% (use a hygrometer to measure the levels).
And don’t forget your office. The heat is likely blasting there too. You can use a small humidifier throughout the day at work.
Use the Right Moisturizer
Moisturizing when your skin gets dry is a no-brainer. But make sure you use the right moisturizer. Oil-based, instead of water-based, moisturizers give your skin a protective layer to help your skin keep more moisture to itself. Many over-the-counter moisturizers contain ingredients that actually contribute to dry skin in the winter. Instead, look for oil-based moisturizers that have natural, nourishing ingredients to keep your skin healthy.
The sun can still do a lot of damage, even during the winter months, and a sunburn can further dry out your skin. Always play it safe, and apply sunscreen. Bonus points if you use a product that can also moisturize while providing UVA/UVB protection.
Protect Your Hands
Keeping your hands moisturized during the winter can seem like a futile exercise. But with thinner skin and fewer oil glands, your hands aren’t prepared to tackle the winter weather on their own. Make sure you always wear gloves when going outside, and remember to replenish lost moisture with the right moisturizer.
Take Warm Showers and Baths
This may be the hardest advice, but it’s so important to follow. Skip the hot showers that strip your skin of moisture, and take warm showers and baths instead. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing, and put an oil-based moisturizer on your skin while it’s still a little damp.
Did you know stress can cause water loss in your body? Find what makes you happy — exercise, meditation, family time — and regularly incorporate it into your life. Not only will you be more at peace, your skin will hold onto that moisture it so desperately needs right now.
Don’t forget this important skin care step. If you have too many dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin, moisture won’t soak in. Exfoliate throughout the winter, and follow immediately with an oil-based moisturizer.
Enjoy the holidays, winter sports, and cozy evenings this winter — without itchy, painful skin. Take steps to protect and nourish your skin all throughout the season. Try Deter’s moisturizing sunscreen, after-sun lotion, and lip therapy to help in your quest for smooth skin.