Have you ever noticed how the changing seasons react to your skin? If so, you've probably found that your skin in the colder winter months always seems to get drier and flakier.
Cold air, dry indoor heat, low levels of humidity, and harsh winter winds can all add moisture to your skin. This can leave your skin, not just your face, but also your hands, feet, and other areas exposed to the elements, looking far less radiant than usual.
And when temperatures fall and there is no relief from the harsh, cold air of winter, there are steps you can take to keep your skin looking good.
Signs of dry skin
Some of the most common dry skin signs and symptoms include:
· cracks in your skin
flakiness or scaliness
raw, irritated skin
stinging or burning
Xerosis is the medical term for dry skin. Depending on the region of your body that is affected, symptoms will vary in severity and look different.
How to prevent dry winter skin
Dry skin in winter isn't inevitable. You will be able to keep your skin looking soft, smooth, and vibrant all winter long by making some improvements to your skin care regimen and routines, and using the correct items.
Let's take a closer look at the tips during the colder months of the year that may help you improve the health of your skin.
Adjust your skin care routine
You may want to consider simplifying your skin care routine for the time being if the skin on your face seems to be extremely sensitive or irritated due to the dry winter weather. In order to respond well to serums, toners, and other forms of beauty treatments, bear in mind that the moisture barrier of your skin needs to be healthy.
Also, if the skin is irritated, ingredients such as fragrance and alcohol can be more susceptible to it. This implies that products that would normally feel nice on your face can turn into irritants. Try keeping your routine of skin care easy. In the morning, try using only a moisturizer and sunscreen, and a gentle cleanser at night with a moisturizer.
You can slowly integrate other treatments and ingredients back into your routine until you feel assured that your skin's moisture barrier is healthy.
Apply sunscreen daily
Given the shorter winter days and fewer daylight, taking sunscreen out of your morning routine can be tempting, but think again. Harmful UV light can still stress the moisture barrier of your skin even in winter, which is important for preserving skin health and hydration.
After applying the moisturizer, consider adding a layer of sunscreen every morning. Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is recommended for use by the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
Dial down the temperature
At the end of a cold winter's day, a hot shower or bath may feel particularly relaxing. Still, you may want to keep the water temperature closer to lukewarm in order to keep your skin nourished. Hot water may dissolve the natural oils of your skin faster than lukewarm water (which is usually about 98.6 ° F/37 ° C), according to the Baylor College of Medicine, and can even cause damage.
Even, when you dry your skin after bathing or showering, take note. Gently pat your skin with a soft towel instead of actively rubbing, which may allow some of the moisture to hydrate the top layer of your skin.
Go easy on exfoliants and scrubs
Exfoliation will help keep your skin looking clean and vibrant, helping to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Although, if you do it too much or use the wrong ingredients, it is possible to over exfoliate your face.
If your skin looks dry or flaky, rather than a physical scrub, you may want to opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant. It could be more likely that harder scrubs with large particles break down the moisture barrier of your skin and cause harm. It might be better to stop exfoliation before your skin has healed, if your skin is broken, raw, or irritated.
Hydrate from the inside
Making sure that you remain well hydrated during the day is another important step to keeping your skin healthy and sparkling. Not taking in enough fluid will affect your skin's appearance and make it more vulnerable to drying out as well.
You will also want to concentrate on consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being well hydrated. Both of these nutrients will protect your cells from exposure to the environment and help make healthy cells, including skin cells, for your body.
Moisturize right after washing
You strip your skin of its natural oils every time you wash your face, hands, or body. Since these oils help to hold in moisture, replacing them is important. That's why every time you wash your skin, particularly in winter, it's important to use a moisturizer. Try to store a bottle of moisturizer next to your sink as a handy reminder and bring a travel-size moisturizer with you while you're on the go.
Opt for nonirritating fabrics
The avoidance of wearing rough fabrics is a good rule when coping with any skin condition. And no exception is dry skin. Try wearing loose, comfortable, natural fabrics if the skin on your body is extra dry, to reduce the possibility of increased physical discomfort.
Also, stop using regular detergents to wash your clothing. Look for formulated detergents for sensitive skin that are likely to be free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Try adding occlusives to your routine
Earlier, to help smooth and repair the skin barrier, we discussed using emollients. But you may want to consider adding occlusive ingredients into your skin care routine if you discover that emollient ingredients do not do enough to cure your dry skin.
To seal moisture into your skin, occlusive ingredients provide a physical barrier. Occlusive ingredient examples include:
petroleum jelly-based products
The best way to work these products into your routine is to apply them once or twice per day after moisturizing.
Use a humidifier
Humidifiers help to bring moisture back into the air, which can be extremely beneficial in the winter months when indoor heating is cranked up. Having more moisture in the air can help act as a natural moisturizing agent that can avoid and alleviate dryness of the skin in turn. In winter, a 60 percent humidifier environment will replenish moisture in the top layer of your skin, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Use overnight treatments
Overnight treatments are an ideal way for dry skin to be revitalized or prevented. For moisturizing, emollients are perfect. However, it can take longer for them to be absorbed into your skin because they're a heavier type of cream.
Your skin will have the time it requires to absorb the treatment by applying an emollient to your skin overnight, and for the emollient to refill your skin with the moisture and oils it needs. If you apply an ointment to your hands or feet, to avoid spreading the emollient on your sheets or bed covers, consider covering them in a plastic bag or gloves.
The ultimate physical barrier to environmental agents that can dry out the skin on your hands is gloves. Wear warm gloves when stepping out into the cold to protect your hands and use a pair of silicone gloves when washing dishes. It can help keep your hands smooth and well hydrated by limiting the dry air and hot water that touches your skin.
To Sum It Up
In winter, it's not unusual to encounter dry, flaky skin that affects not only your face, but also your hands, feet, and other areas exposed to the elements. Moisturizing your skin frequently with the right products is the key to keeping your skin healthy. Exfoliating scrubs, hot water, and other skin care treatments should also be easy to use.
Wearing non-irritating fabrics and gloves, using a humidifier, and keeping well hydrated will protect your skin, too. If you find that with at-home treatments your dry skin is not improving, consider following up with the best treatment with your healthcare provider.