Winter Dry Skin – Fast Fixes

girl in winter clothes

Your natural response to cold weather days is to turn up the heat,
right? You’re likely taking longer, hotter showers too. The only
problem is these are sure-fire ways to rob your skin of moisture
leading to an overall tight, dry and often itchy feeling. For some
people it gets so bad they experience flaking, cracking and even
eczema. Everyone needs to protect their skin from drying out during
the winter months. Here’s how:

Use the proper moisturizer: Switch out your lighter warm-weather
moisturizers for ones that are oil-based rather than water-based. Take
care to use nonclogging ingredients on your face however – products
containing oils like avocado, mineral or almond oil. Moisturizers that
contain shea oil or butter are best left to other skin areas because
they can clog facial pores. Products containing humectants like
glycerin, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids which attract moisture to
the skin are also helpful in the fight against dryness.

Use the proper cleanser: It’s best to choose a gentle facial cleanser
during the winter months and avoid gritty scrubs and ingredients like
glycolic acid which can intensify dryness. And if you wash your hands
a lot – a good idea during cold and flu season! – use a non-drying
hand soap.

Limit your shower time: While it’s tempting to linger under an extra
hot stream of water, you won’t be doing your skin any favors. Long,
hot showers strip skin of natural moisturizing oils so it’s best to
cool the water temperature and keep showers and baths to no more than
10 minutes once a day. Remember that post-bathing is an excellent time
to moisturize. Pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer liberally while
your skin is still damp.

Invest in a humidifier: Opt for one that works with your home’s
heating system or place portable units in rooms where you spend a lot
of time (relatively inexpensive models are available). Humidifiers
help put moisture back into the air that will be absorbed by your skin
and hair.

Apply sunscreen as usual: Winter offers no excuse for becoming lax
about using sunscreen. Sure, the sun is lower in the sky and the hours
when it shines are fewer, but you still need to protect yourself from
harmful UV rays. Before heading outdoors, apply a moisturizing, broad-
spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to any exposed areas.

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