Following a set skin care routine is a great thing; but the same routine may not work as well in the winter as it does in the summer. The dry, cold air that the winter brings can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticable- it also can make your skin itch, flake, crack and even bleed. Below is a list of how to help treat and heal your dry winter skin.
- Prevent baths and showers from making that dry skin worse. Taking long hot showers/baths is the most calming thing that can quickly heat you up during the cold winter months; but it can take a toll on your skin. You only want to limit your time under the water for 5 to 10 minutes, using warm rather than hot water is a better choice. When it comes to washing yourself, use a gentle cleanser that is fragrance free and apply enough to remove dirt and oil- but not so much that you see a thick lather. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel, and apply a good amount of moisturzer immediately after drying.
- Applying moisturizer immediately after washing. Ointments, creams and lotions/moisturizers trap the exsisting moisture in your skin. In order to trap this moisture, you need to apply a cream, ointment or lotion within minutes of showering/bathing or washing your hands/face.
- Ointments and Creams Vs. Lotions. Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. You want to look for a serum that containers oils (such as olive or jojoba oil.) Shea butter also works well. Ingridients to look for that also sooth dry skin are lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
- Wear lip balm. Wear a lip balm that feels good and does not sting, tingle or irritate your lips.
- Use unscented products. Skin care products that contain fragrance can be harsh on the skin and can make your dryness worse; products like deoderant soaps are a major cause. Ingridients that have the tendency to dry out your skin include alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA.)
- Wear Gloves. The first place you will begin to notice your dry skin forming is on your hands. You can reduce the onset on dry skin by wearing gloves. Gloves should be worn when you go outdoors in the winter, perform tasks where your hands get wet (doing the dishes,) or when you perform a task where you get chemicals, greases and other substances on your hands.
- Non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent. Scratchy clothes and certain laundry detergents can make dry skin even more irritated. Wearing cotton or silk clothing beneath wool or other scratchy clothing can save your skin from irritation. Using a laundry detergent without fragrances and it hypoallergenic is also a great way to save your skin.
- Sit adjacent to a heat source. While cozying up in front of the fireplace seems like a grand idea, it is most definitley drying your skin out. Instead of parking yourself directly in front of a heater or fireplace, sit adjacent to it.
- Add moisture to the air. Plug in a humidifier Some home heating systems have the added ability to be a humidifier, thats a great thing to check out.
Thank you to the American Academy of Dermatology for the original information. You can read more here.