Ah, winter. A magical time of snow-covered landscapes, cuddling up by a crackling fire, cozy sweaters...and dry skin. If you’re battling dry skin this time of year, you’re certainly not alone. Cold air outside paired with hot, dry air inside can lead to dry, itchy, and red skin.
Take a break from the winter weather, cuddle up with a nice cup of tea, and browse through our top tips for improving dry winter skin. Your skin will get back to its supple self in no time.
1. Moisturize differently
The lotions and moisturizers you tend to turn to in the spring and summer may not be enough for severely dehydrated winter skin. Creams, especially those with petroleum jelly or glycerin, are more effective than lotions, and avoid any moisturizers with alcohol. See a skin care specialist or dermatologist for personalized recommendations based on your skin type.
2. Cover up
The colder it is outside, the easier it is for the cold air to zap moisture away from your skin. That’s why it’s so important to wear those gloves and scarves! The skin on our hands is particularly thin and produces less oils, which is why you may experience cracking or bleeding hands more than other areas in the winter.
3. Moisturize your air
We’ve already talked about why the air in winter is drier, and how it steals the moisture from our skin. So it makes sense that we need to work on actively hydrating the air again. The most efficient way to do this is with a quality humidifier. Place a few strategically throughout your home to disperse the humidity more effectively. This is also a great excuse to diffuse some essential oils!
4. Resist Really hot water
It may feel cozy and luxurious to take a long hot shower during these colder months, but if you’re worried about dry skin, this is going to work against you. Too much hot, soapy water can strip your skin of it’s natural oils drying out your skin even more. Opt for warm water instead, and keep your showers on the shorter side. The same goes for hand-washing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colder water is just as effective as hot water at removing potentially cold-causing germs. So you can protect your hands from over-drying while still protecting yourself from cold and flu season!
5. Get Cozy
Just as hot baths and showers are tempting when it’s freezing outside, so is turning up the heater or thermostat. This introduces more hot dry air into your environment further drying out our skin. Instead, turn the thermostat down a few degrees, put away the space heater, and embrace the cozy element of winter with an extra chunky sweater and nice fuzzy socks.
6. Avoid irritating detergents and fabrics
If our skin is already dry and irritated, it can become more sensitive to certain detergents and fabrics. Wool is a common winter fabric due to its ability to keep in heat, but it can also be itchy or irritating to our skin. Slip on some thin cotton underneath to protect your skin, and switch to gentle, or sensitive skin specific detergents.
7. Don’t neglect that sunscreen
Sunscreen in the winter? Yes! It may feel like the sun goes on vacation in the winter, but we promise it’s still around and it can still be a bother for your skin. While sparkling winter snow is definitely beautiful, it also reflects and intensifies the sun’s rays. You’ll want to employ that sunscreen on any exposed skin, especially if you’re going skiing, sledding, or participating in other winter sports or outings.
8. Be selective with your skin care Treatments
With winter being as rough as it is on our skin, we don’t want to intensify that with skin care treatments that aren’t ideal for the season. Instead try moisturizing facials and masks. Discuss how your skin is acting this winter with your skin care specialist, and they can help create a menu of winter treatments that will treat your skin the best this season.
9. Update your skin care routine
If you have a standard skin care routine, it may not be perfectly suitable for the winter season. There could be gentler alternatives to your warm-weather go-to’s. Talk with your skin care specialist about how to cater your daily and weekly skin care routines to the colder, drier winter months.
10. Visit your skin care specialist
As mentioned throughout, a skin care specialist and a dermatologist are going to be your best friends in finding the perfect solutions for how your skin is specifically reacting to the cold. Schedule an appointment and make sure to bring a list of your concerns and products you’re currently using. If you follow these tips and are still struggling with dry skin, you may need a prescription strength moisturizer, or there may be an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. This would be the time to see your dermatologist. Together you can come out of winter glowing ✨.