Winter is considered to be one of the most beautiful seasons. The bright white snow that falls at a slow pace gives you a serene feeling. Still, winter happens to have disadvantages that make it unbearable at times. Dry and irritated skin happens to be one of them. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent and treat dry skin. Here are some of the things to consider this winter.
Utilize an Air Humidifier
The colder it gets outside, the warmer we try to make it inside. Our heating systems add hot dry air which can be very drying to our skin. Having a humidifier at home can add moisture to the air. Make sure to clean it frequently to avoid bacteria and mold growing in it, which could predispose us to infections.
Keep Your Showers Short
As tempting as it is to spend hours in the shower during cold winter days, try to reduce that time to 5-10 minutes. Avoid hot water and instead shower with warm water. Hot water can strip away skin’s natural oils way faster than lukewarm water does.
Moisturize Right After Washing
Apply a thick ointment or cream when the skin is still moist after bathing or showering. Lotions do not hydrate enough during wintertime. Pro tip: Keep an ointment next to your bedside table so that you can apply it on your hands and lips right before you go to sleep. Some of my favorite brands include Cerave, La Roche Posay and Avene.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Yes even in the winter! Rain or Shine! Sunscreen is a must each day, every day, all year round (not only during the summer). Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF greater than 30 to protect you from developing skin cancers as well as premature signs of ageing.
Follow a Simple Night Skincare Routine
If you notice that your skin is getting uncomfortably dry then maybe it’s best if you stop using harsh cleansers, acid exfoliants and retinol. Find a mild cleanser that won’t disrupt your skin barrier and then follow it with a thick moisturizer. If you suffer from dry skin or eczema in the winter keep your skincare regimen simple.
Consult a Doctor
While it might take time for your dry, irritated skin to go back to how it was, it certainly shouldn’t take more than a few days. If the tips above are not enough, see your Board Certified Dermatologist. If dryness is not improving with simple skincare changes it is possible there might be something more going on. Severe dryness and eczema need topical prescription medications to improve.
Winter dry skin can be quite frustrating, however, if we are proactive in how we take care of it we can really make a difference in improving and preventing it. Happy winter!