The cold winter temperatures can be harsh on your skin. This combined with the dry air from indoor heating systems can create itchy, flaky skin. Though this may seem like something you’re forced to endure every year, there are many ways to keep dry skin at bay. Any of the following tips can help reduce the dryness. Use them together, and you’ll have the smooth, silky skin you want all winter long.
Whether washing your hands or showering before bed, stay away from hot water. The more heat you use, the more oils the water will strip away from your already tender skin. Replace the heat with lukewarm water instead. It’s also a good idea to replace long baths with short showers. No matter how good a long soak feels after a busy day, avoid them, at least until the weather warms up.
Even lukewarm water can dry out your skin a little bit, so be sure to moisturize right after washing. It’s best to do so as soon as possible since your damp skin will soak in the lotion better, locking in the moisture. The best way to keep up this habit is to place a bottle of lotion by every sink and near the tub, so you won’t forget.
There are times that washing your hands with soap and water are necessary. For instance, handling raw meat requires a thorough cleaning. Sneezing or coughing requires cleansing, but not necessarily the old-fashioned way. If possible, try to replace soap with alcohol-free hand sanitizers or soap-free cleansers. These will be less drying for your hands while still cleansing them of germs and bacteria.
There are some body parts that need more care than others, including your hands, feet, knees and elbows. Take care of these areas by applying a heavy layer of lotion right before bed. This will help to soften those tender parts while you sleep. For even better results, put on cotton socks, gloves, and even pajamas to lock in the moisture.
Your moisturizers will have little effect if they have to fight through a layer of dead skin to reach the new skin. That’s why it is important to exfoliate your face and body every week, to remove the dead cells. The more lotion that can reach your healthy skin, the more effective it will be.
Some cleansers contain chemicals that could dry out your skin. You may need to swap them out for less harsh products when the cold weather hits. Find a cleanser that uses moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin soft. This includes facial cleansers, body washes, and even shampoos. And don’t forget to moisturize right after using them.
Using a moisturizer as often as I’ve recommended is useless if it is of poor quality. That’s why you need to choose the right one to meet your skin’s cold weather needs. First, make sure it is oil-based rather than water-based. This will help to keep your skin hydrated. Next, try to find one with natural ingredients, such as jojoba oil. This will soothe the itching while relieving the dryness.
Sometimes the ingredients list on your beauty products is impossible to understand. For a safe alternative, try making your own. There are many options using fruits and oils that leave no question about what’s going on your skin. For example, honey, olive oil, or aloe can all be used in a DIY mask. Whole milk in a short, lukewarm bath can add moisture to your skin. Oatmeal and brown sugar can be used to exfoliate. Try out different mixtures to see what suits your skin best.
While hydrating your skin on the outside, don’t forget your insides need it too. The water in your body will help to keep your skin hydrated. Though you may want to cuddle up with a hot cup of herbal tea, straight water is a better choice. If you want, you can even add a slice of lemon for flavor.
It is also important to eat plenty of foods with a high water content to keep you hydrated. A few options are apples, oranges, celery, and cucumbers. You also want to take in a healthy amount of Vitamin C into your body. This will help your skin produce the proper amount of collagen and elastin. These will keep your skin from feeling tight and uncomfortable, even in the driest air. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, nuts or flax seeds are also essential. These add moisture to your skin, keeping it supple and smooth.
Leaving your skin bare when you venture outside will wreak havoc on your hands and face. Scarves, mittens, and hats will give you the protection you need from the elements. And, as strange as it sounds, it is also a good idea to apply sunscreen before heading out. This will keep you safe from the sun’s harsh rays, even though they don’t feel particularly warm.
Heating systems seem to suck the moisture right out of the air. That’s why you should use a humidifier in your home and office. This will add moisture to the air, reducing the drying effects that could damage your skin.
Cuddling up in a wool sweater may seem cozy, but this could cause a rash on your already sensitive skin. Your detergents, cleaning supplies, and other allergens could also be a problem. When wintertime hits, stick with cotton or other soft materials. And replace your cleansers with milder versions to keep the itching to a minimum.
I hope you enjoyed reading my tips on winter skin care. Dry skin can be annoying, but if left unchecked, it can become painful very quickly. I have suffered from dry, itchy skin in the past, but with these tips, I keep it soft and smooth all winter. Don’t forget to share this with your dry-skin fighting friends. If you are looking for more hair care and skin care articles check out our blog and our hair care buyer’s guides.
I joined BloomGorgeous in 2014 and have been reviewing for them ever since. It's my passion and joy to help people thrive. I have had my up and down days with my my look and my mindset, it is our goal here to help people get through the rough times a little faster.