Your skin may become itchy, red, and irritated because of the cold, dry air. These expert methods for keeping your skin’s natural hydration can help you combat dry winter skin. Winter can be tough on your skin, and you may feel trapped. The cold, windy weather outside leaves your skin red and raw, while the heat indoors zaps moisture from the air and your skin.
As the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) points out, even the things that make winter so pleasant, such as sitting by a roaring fire, can dry out your skin. While a hot shower may warm you up, it also depletes your skin’s natural oils, according to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
There are several simple modifications you can make to your daily routine to battle the causes of dry skin and keep yourself moisturized and supple all season long. Simple, dermatologist-approved tips for beautiful winter skin can be found here.
Invest in a humidifier to increase the amount of moisture in your home. During the lower winter months, the outdoor air carries less water and is drier and colder. By returning moisture to the air, a humidifier in your home or office can help keep your skin hydrated.
Use a humidifier throughout your home or in the areas where you spend the most time to keep indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. One option is to turn it on at night when you’re sleeping. If you’re unsure about your home’s humidity levels, you can get a humidity meter, such as the highly-rated Goabroa unit on Amazon.
Maintain Cool and Comfortable Thermostat Temperatures. You might be tempted to turn up the thermostat as soon as you get home if you’re trying to escape the dry, frigid air outside. High central heat, on the other hand, might make your home’s air even drier, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD). To keep your skin from drying out, even more, choose a chilly yet comfortable temperature – the AOCD advises 68 to 75 degrees F.
Lower Shower and Hand-Washing Water Temperatures. When it’s cold and blustery outside, long, steamy showers may seem like a good idea, but excessively hot water can dry out the skin. Dry skin is less likely to be aggravated by a warm shower (or bath) for 5 to 10 minutes than by a hot shower. If the water turns red on your skin, it’s too hot, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
You should also avoid using too much hot water while washing your hands. This is particularly true if your hands are red, scaly, and itchy (potential signs of eczema on the hands, per the National Eczema Association). Dry skin induced by hot swimming or chilly winter air might cause eczema flare-ups. Cooler water kills germs just as well as warm water and is less irritating to the skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Choose a cleanser that is gentle and fragrance-free. By removing the skin’s natural oils and disturbing the microbiome, bar soap can exacerbate dryness. Body wash is indicated for persons who have dry skin. Look for washes that say, ‘for sensitive skin,’ ‘dye-free,’ and ‘fragrance-free,’ among other things. They frequently contain hydrating substances such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, oils, shea butter, and oats, rather than dry ones. The AAD also recommends looking for goods that are labeled ‘fragrance-free.’ Unscented goods may contain chemicals that mask the aroma and irritate the skin.
Change up your skin-care routine for the new season. Reduce the usage of skin-care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids on your face if your skin is dry and itchy, as these can aggravate the problem and potentially be an indication of irritant dermatitis (a skin reaction that occurs after prolonged exposure to an irritating substance). After the skin has recovered, you can gradually resume using retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids. When your skin on your face is dry, avoid AHAs and retinoids, as well as products containing alcohol and scents, as this will assist your skin keep its natural oils.
Hands should be moisturized frequently, especially after washing. Hand washing is essential, particularly when the common cold, flu, and COVID-19 are present. The hands, on the other hand, will take a beating if they are constantly washed. After each wash, apply hand lotion and wear waterproof gloves to protect your hands while dishwashing or cleaning around the house.
After you’ve patted yourself dry, seal in the moisture. After washing your hands, pat them dry. Rather than rubbing the skin dry, blot or pat it dry to help it retain more moisture. When drying off after a shower, follow the same procedure. To seal the water into the skin, blot the skin dry and apply a strong moisturizer within a few minutes of bathing.