Ouch! How To Prevent Dry Skin This Winter
Nothing says “winter” like chapped, irritated skin, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Dry skin in winter brings a host of unfortunate maladies with it, but with a proper skincare regimen, you can avoid these seasonal symptoms and get the soft, beautiful complexion you love.
The first step is understanding your skin. Unfortunately, it isn’t only dry skin types that suffer during the colder months. The chilly, low-moisture air can zap oil from normal skin types, which are usually balanced (neither oily nor dry), and from combination skin types, which blend oily patches with dry ones. Bearers of sensitive skin are also likely to experience drying. Unless your skin is very oily all year round, in other words, you stand a good chance of reacting to winter’s destructive ways.
This can take many forms. If you’re wondering whether you’re susceptible to dryness, watch for symptoms such as redness or rosacea. Especially if the redness sticks around once you’re inside and warm, and skin swells or gets sores, this can be a serious problem.
Other signs of skin irritation include cracking, flaking, soreness, itching and chapping. Your skin might start to feel tight and lose its normal elasticity. Outbreaks of eczema usually indicate that you suffer from dry or irritated skin. While many of these symptoms appear on sensitive facial skin and on hands, all parts of the body are susceptible.
Great, you’re thinking, so that’s the bad news. What’s the good news??
Don’t worry, there is good news. With a solid skincare regimen, you can avoid or reduce these symptoms. The trick is to minimize drying agents, emphasize moisture and exfoliation, and protect your skin from winter’s harshness. Do that and you can keep your skin looking healthy and pretty even in the depths of winter.
Start by shielding your skin every day. Most of us quit using UV protection when temperatures drop and the days shorten, mistakenly assuming that a reduction in the sun’s intensity means our skin is safe. Not so; the sun can still dry and age your skin. Use a moisturizer or foundation with an SPF factor of 15 or more to protect your face, neck, hands and any other exposed part of your body.
If you haven’t already, institute a great exfoliation and moisturizing routine. Dry skin can be exacerbated by flakey buildup, so remove it with a gentle exfoliating scrub that hydrates instead of drying you out. Use a heavier moisturizer during cold months than you would in the summer, opting for something oil-based rather than water-based. Reapply after every wash.
Avoid harsh heat. In the winter, we automatically crank radiators, furnaces, heaters and fireplaces to warm indoor air, which drastically reduces the humidity inside our houses. When possible, lower the heat and pull on layers instead. Limit your time in hot showers and baths, or reduce the water temperature. Use mild soaps and cleansers on face, hands and body, and discontinue if you feel stinging, tightening or drying when using them. Look for products that work with the body’s natural oils rather than leaching them away.
Lastly, protect your skin wherever possible. Wear gloves to guards hands against drying winter air, and scarves to protect sensitive neck skin. Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors, and reapply moisturizing lotion whenever you feel the need. If you follow all these steps and don’t see an improvement in your skin’s health, you may need to see a specialist to figure out what is causing your chronic condition.
Winter makes it harder to keep skin smooth and healthy, sure, but all you really need are new habits. Institute them today and see the difference in your skin immediately.
Looking forward to hearing your comments!
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.