It’s winter and that means many of us are dealing with dry skin. When your skin is dry it may look ashy, feel tight or itchy, flaky or even peel. On your face, you may find as your skin dries it actually produces more oil as it overcompensates for the dryness. Dry skin can actually be related to other conditions like dermatitis, so your first step when suffering from serious dry skin is see your dermatologist. Sometimes treating the underlying condition can alleviate the dryness.
But even otherwise healthy skin can get dry in weather where the humidity is low and skin is exposed to elements like wind. Your skin care regimen may need to change for winter – what works in warmer months may not be enough. Here are some tips for keeping skin hydrated in winter months, from our estheticians and the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Don’t indulge in very long showers or baths. 5-10 minutes is a good rule. Use warm water rather than hot, and close the bathroom door to lock in the humidity the water creates.
- When washing your face, use just enough gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil but not enough to make a thick soapy lather.
- Rather than rubbing your skin dry, blot it gently with your towel.
- Moisturize your skin immediately after bathing or washing your face. It will trap the moisture from the water and help keep your skin hydrated. Any time you wash your hands, dry and follow right away with hand lotion.
- For very dry skin, consider creams or ointments instead of lotions. If you’re having a hard time locking in that moisture a thicker cream or ointment will do a better job. Make an appointment with one of our estheticians to talk about the best products for your needs.
- Don’t forget your lips, they get dry too! Take lip balm or ointment with you everywhere you go and apply regularly, especially when going outdoors.
- Avoid drying products like certain deodorant soaps or astringents containing alcohol. If these products are a regular part of your skin care regimen, again, make an appointment and we’ll be happy to talk to you about products that will be more gentle on dry winter skin.
- Protect your skin from the elements – cover up! Wear warm clothes, hats and gloves. If your dry skin is irritated you may want to consider softer fabrics for your undergarments, like cotton or silk, so nothing rough comes in contact with your skin.
- Stay warm but keep away from heat sources – if you sit right next to a fireplace or heater, your skin will dry out faster.
- Use a humidifier in your home to build up moisture when humidity is naturally low.