Dry Cold air may leave your skin feeling red, itchy and irritated. Beat the dry winter skin this season with these proven tips to retain your skin’s natural glow & moisture.
When the winter comes calling, heres what you could do to keep your skin supple & moist.
Winter can wreak havoc on your skin. It can feel like theres no escape: Cold, windy conditions outdoors can leave your skin feeling raw, while the indoor heat deprives your skin of the moisture just as easily, as it can from the air around you.
Furthermore, even the things that make winter wonderful can dry your skin: like sitting by a roaring fire, taking a hot shower.
However, before you start losing hope, relax as, in order to keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long, there are many easy ways to overcome it.
For example, after taking a not-quite-so-hot shower, “blot skin dry and apply a thick moisturizer within a few minutes after bathing to seal the water into the skin.”
Here are some easy tips to keep in mind for an effective winter skincare regimen, so that you feel your best all winter:-
- Limit Shower Time & Temperature
It is tempting to take a long, steamy shower. Your skin will be better-off with a 5 to 10 minute lukewarm shower (or bath) instead. Remember to avoid excessively hot water when washing your hands. (As a rule of thumb) if the water causes your skin to turn red, its too hot.
Washing your hands in cooler water is just as effective at removing germs as warm water with the added benefit of being less irritating to skin, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also if you’re using a restroom air hand-dryer, use it just till your hands are damp rather than being perfectly dry.
- Moisturize Frequently, Especially Your Hands
You can retain a healthy skin just by moisturizing it after washing up. Remember, “It’s best to use an ointment or cream in winters. Lotions are better off in warmer, humid climates. And don’t forget your hands, says Dr. Stein Gold. Hand-washing, as the CDC notes, is vital, especially during cold and flu season. But, as Dr. Gold points out, “constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating.
However, applying a hand cream after each wash can help, Dr. Gold adds. She recommends to wear waterproof gloves when washing dishes or cleaning around the house.
- To Avoid Dryness Lower the Thermostat
What’s the first thing you want to do when it’s chilly outside? Crank up the heat! However, what can dry up the air in your house even faster is the central heating. Try setting the thermostat at a cooler yet comfortable setting of 68°F to 72°F is the key to maintain a healthier skin.
- Investing in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
It is recommended to use a humidifier in your home as well as in your office to add moisture to the dry winter air and to keep your skin well hydrated. You can use a humidifier in the rooms where you spend your most time of the day, including but not limited to your bedroom.
- Opt for a Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The wrong soap can further aggravate the dry, itchy skin. For example, the regular bar soaps may include irritating ingredients and fragrances, as an alternative using a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel may do the trick for you.
You can further prevent winter skin problems by using less soap overall, so limit your lathering to necessary areas, such as your hands, feet ,armpits & genitals.
- Alter Your Facial Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
During winters, choose cream-based cleansers, & apply astringents & toners sparingly, if you may need at all. Several astringents contain alcohol, which can further dry up your skin. When your skin is dry & itchy, the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology), recommends you refrain from using products that contain alcohol and fragrances for the skin to retain its natural oils. Its recommended to use a richer moisturizer on your face at night as well. Also don’t forget your lips. Applying a moisturizing balm (like a petroleum jelly or any other ointment) can help cracked/ chapped lips repair & back to health, as per the AAD. However, in an unlikely case your lip product causes a tingling or stinging sensations, try to switch over to a different product.
- Wearing Appropriate, Comfortable, Non-irritating Clothing
The dry winter skin can be aggravated by many fabrics worn in the cold-weather. Dr.Stein Gold says that if you don’t want your dry skin to get irritated and itchy, try to keep wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin.”
You can opt to wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials directly against your skin, and then pull on your heavier, warmer sweaters. Take special care to protect your hands against cold winter air by using gloves or mittens, always remember to choose a pair that won’t irritate your skin. If you would rather prefer woolen gloves, always put on cotton or silk glove liners first.
- Apply Sunscreen Even on Those Gray Winter Days
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation on any given bright winter day, snow reflects the suns rays, up to 80 percent thereby increasing your risk of exposure. It doesn’t matter whether you are out playing in the snow, out on the slopes or just walking, the sun rays are going to hit you anyway, so its just as important that you have applied sunscreen beforehand even in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer.
However don’t be fooled by the dull, darker days in winters either. The suns harmful UV rays can saturate through clouds and still cause damage.
Therefore its advisable to apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher before you go outside; to all the exposed areas of your body.
- To Avoid Itchy Skin Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly
If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to do away with them as soon as possible.
Wearing wet clothes and shoes can cause itchiness & further irritate your skin. If you somehow still experience discomfort, irritation, dryness even after trying all these healthy skin tips, Dr. Stein Gold suggests that you use an over-the-counter, 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. “If you don’t see any improvement in a few days, consult your doctor straight away,” Dr.Stein Gold suggests that you may need a prescription strength moisturizer to beat the drying effects of winter’s on your skin.
- Staying Hydrated & Eating Right
As per Barbara R. Reed, MD, a dermatologist in private practice at Denver Skin Clinic “When your skin is very dry, sometimes it can be assisted by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, like fish oil and flaxseed oil,”. “Predominantly, however, it is important to let the skin moisturize from the outside.”