Americans spend roughly $2,000 a year, on skin care products. And while sunscreen is a major focus during summer months, our skin needs just as much protection and pampering during the winter. Cold winter air holds less moisture, causing skin to become drier as temperatures drop. Heated indoor air adds to the problem, leaving you with skin that feels tight and dry. Winter sports enthusiasts have the added effect of wind that dries and chaps skin and lips.
If not cared for properly, skin can become rough, itchy and flaky, and may lead to cracking. To combat the symptoms of dry skin, you need to change your skin care routine with the change in seasons. Keep your skin looking and feeling healthy this winter by following these tips!
1. Limit Shower Time
Everyone enjoys a good soak in the tub, but extended baths and showers can strip essential oils from the body. Alter your daily shower by:
- Using cooler water temperatures
- Restricting showers to between 5 and 10 minutes
- Using a mild cleanser without fragrances
Shutting the bathroom door before showering will help retain humidity in the room until you can dry off and apply moisturizer. Gently blot skin with a towel, leaving a little dampness. Make sure your skin care routine includes using a generous amount of moisturizer immediately after showering.
2. Invest in a Humidifier
Some home heating systems include a humidifier. Check your HVAC system for one and turn it on. If you don’t have one, shop your department store for a small-appliance humidifier to add moisture to your indoor environment and relieve your dry skin.
3. Protect Your Hands
Wear warm gloves when you’re heading outdoors to protect hands from dry winter air. If you have a job that requires you to get your hands wet often, consider using protective rubber or plastic gloves. Use protective gloves whenever working with harsh substances.
4. Check Skin Care Product Labels
Deodorant soaps and skin care products contain ingredients that can also strip your skin’s natural oils. Look for unscented products with gentler ingredients to replace those with alcohol, alpha-hydroxy acid, fragrance or retinoids.
5. Apply Moisturizer Often
Moisturizers help seal skin and prevent evaporation, which occurs quickly in cold-weather air. We suggest applying moisturizers throughout the day and shortly after washing. Thicker moisturizers and ointments with petroleum jelly are more effective for extremely dry skin.
Also, consider purchasing cosmetics that include moisturizers. For people with very dry skin, apply baby oil to still-damp skin after showering. Oil lasts longer than moisturizers and helps prevent evaporation of surface moisture.
6. Protect Your Lips
Lips should also be part of your winter skin care regimen. Use a lip balm or cream with sunscreen and use a scarf to cover your mouth while outdoors. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoid licking your lips, which can leave them red and even drier.
Persistent Dryness May Need Treatment
By adopting these tactics, you should begin to notice healthier, more hydrated skin this winter. If dryness persists, consult a dermatologist. The professionals at Windsor Dermatology would be more than happy to recommend an over-the-counter or prescription strength regimen specifically for you and your skin. Call the office at 609-443-4500, or request an appointment online today!