Caring for dry skin is important, especially in the winter months. Your skin is not only the largest organ in your body, but it has many vital jobs. It produces hormones and serves as a barrier that protects your body from things in the surrounding environment that can be harmful, such as the sun’s rays, germs, and toxins.
Your skin also regulates your body temperature and protects you from extreme heat and cold. It helps you to feel sensations like touch, warmth, cold, itching, and pain and is responsible for triggering reflexes to certain sensations like pain as well.
Your skin has three primary layers and the deepest layer stores water, fat, and metabolic products that your body needs.
Why Does Skin Become Dry in Winter?
Dry skin almost always has an environmental cause, according to the Mayo Clinic. In winter, it tends to be its driest due to dropping temperatures and humidity levels outside and indoors. Heating systems including central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and even fireplaces can dry your skin by reducing humidity in the air.
Why does humidity matter? When the air is dry, the water in your skin evaporates faster, drying your skin. When your skin becomes dry, it may feel tight, itchy, chapped, or flaky.
5 Tips for Preventing and Caring for Dry Skin
1 – Hydrate Your Body
Hydrate your body from the inside out by drinking more water and other non-caffeinated drinks during the winter. Caffeinated drinks like coffee are dehydrators, as are alcoholic beverages like wine and beer.
2 – Wear Protective Clothing
When you go outside in windy, freezing cold weather, protect your skin by wearing hats and scarves that partially cover your face and gloves that protect the skin on your hands, in addition to your coat and other cold-weather gear. Also, try to keep your feet dry by wearing water-resistant boots and shoes when it’s raining or snowing outside.
3 – Use a Humidifier
If the air inside your home is dry, purchase a humidifier and place it in your bedroom or other areas of your home where you spend a lot of time. If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning humidifier filters, you can now purchase easy care models that don’t require this step. There are even personal humidifiers available now that are small enough to fit on a desk or nightstand; they use a standard drinking water bottle which you rinse out and re-fill so unit itself never needs cleaning.
4 – Moisturize Your Skin
While you may moisturize your skin all year long, you may need to do it more often in the winter, especially if you’re prone to dry skin. Also, be sure that you’re using products that work. When the weather is colder, you may need to switch to a heavier cream or lotion than you use in the warmer months. It’s best to moisturize as soon as you get out of your shower or bath to trap moisture in the skin. Be sure to moisturize areas that will be exposed to the elements, like your face and hands. Also, don’t forget to moisturize your lips more often in winter when they’re more likely to get chapped and to apply lip balm before going outside.
5 – Avoid Using Hot Water on Your Skin
Even if you enjoy hot showers or baths in the winter, try switching to lukewarm water instead. Hot water dries out the skin faster. Also, avoid using soaps that are too harsh or drying; dermatologists typically recommend using gentle, unscented products. Consider also wearing gloves when washing dishes in hot water to further protect your hands.
For normal dry skin due to cold weather, these tips should do the trick. But if you have dry skin that persists for more than a couple weeks or becomes very itchy, flaky, or irritated, you should consider seeking the advice of a doctor. Dry skin can sometimes be a sign of a skin disorder like eczema or psoriasis, an allergic reaction, or other more serious medical conditions.
Good Luck Preventing and Caring for Dry Skin This Winter!
We hope you found our tips for preventing and caring for dry skin to be helpful. Live in the center of it all in Waldorf, MD. At Center Pointe, we love providing our residents with helpful information to help them manage their busy lives. Our residents have easy access to shopping, entertainment, and great schools. Reach out to us today to schedule a tour and see why we are a Top Rated apartment community on ApartmentRatings!