Dry skin is one of those common winter ailments that are at best, annoying, and at worst, actually painful. When your skin doesn’t retain enough of it’s naturally occurring, protective oils, then moisture literally escapes from it. And when there isn’t enough water in the outer layer of your skin, it becomes dry, cracked, scaly, and downright uncomfortable. This situation only intensifies during the winter in climates where the humidity levels are lower and temperatures drop outside. The drier climate conditions outdoors in wintertime, along with that overpowering forced air indoor heat in so many homes and offices, is a cruel combination.
The aging process also plays its part. Father Time and Mother Nature are unfortunately not always so kind to us and specifically our skin, as we see the presence of the natural oils in our skin lessening with age, and that also can make the wintertime rougher on aging skin, especially on your face.
Here are a few suggestions to control the winter dry skin blues:
Humidity is your friend: get a cool-mist humidifier for your bedroom. They are generally recommended over the warm mist models, and as an added bonus, they also help keep your sinuses clear. Opt for one that is super easy to clean because you’ll want to clean it often—they are known to be breeding grounds for mold if they are not kept clean.
Sprint Shower: Forget those 15-20 minute long relaxing showers until Spring. For now, take short showers or baths using warm, not hot water. Showering for too long or too often, especially in hot water, draws the natural oils from your skin. In fact, if you’re not all that dirty, consider skipping a day and showering every other day in the winter. Opt for moisturizing body washes rather than traditional soaps. When shaving, go for a moisturizing shave cream or gel, and avoid any shower products that include exfoliating agents, which will reverse any moisturizing benefit the product may have had.
Drench: Now’s the time to be very generous with moisturizing. Apply a rich moisturizer or body oil right after the shower/bath while your skin is still damp and your pores are open. This helps the product soak deep down into your skin and do it’s best work. Thicker, richer products are best used in the winter months. ointment or cream over lotions. Winter is also the time to steer clear of alcohol based products. They may be fine during summertime when your skin is more oily and sweaty, but in the winter, alcohol based cleansers and toners may cause added dryness.
Essential oils can be an effective way to combat winter dryness. A few of the most familiar and beneficial oils for the skin are coconut oil, argan oil and sunflower oil—all readily available and useful tools for nourishing and soothing dry skin woes.
Inside Out: It may seem cliche, but this old adage holds true. Since “you are what you eat” , then eating a diet rich in healthy fats like avocado, nuts and olive oil can help from the inside out to keep your skin healthy, moist and supple. Drink plenty of H20 since it also works in the same way to help you from drying out. Also worth noting that caffeine is a natural diuretic so it has an opposite effect. Try cutting back on the soda and coffee and focus on increasing your water intake.
When it comes to the extremities, your hands and feet may show signs of dryness more so than elsewhere on your body. For a quick overnight remedy, smear them up with an extra thick, super luxurious, high quality moisturizing cream. To better help protect them while you sleep, slip on a pair of soft cotton gloves and lightweight socks after you’ve applied the product. Your hands and feet should feel super soft and smooth again by the morning.
About the author: Yaffa Baslaw (@yadeinu) is a Freelance Writer with over a decade of experience copywriting and blogging compelling content. She has written for more than 20 companies in the fields of healthcare, skincare, and retail.