It is easy to get relaxed with skin care when it’s freezing out and you are all covered up in warm clothes. However, you have probably noticed that your skin gets dry very easily in the winter—do you know why that is? Also Read - Renowned Dermatologist Suggests Skincare Tips For Women Above 40
Moisture in the air decreases in the winter time. Furthermore, indoor heating takes even more moisture from the air. Most of us are culprits to spending most of our time indoors, so we are especially prone to dry skin. Also Read - 5 Weird Reasons Why Your Skincare Routine Has Stopped Showing Results
Dermatology experts, Drs. Lauren Ploch, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Cameron Rokhsar, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, agree that the main concepts behind keeping skin healthy throughout winter are using oil-based moisturizers; thick ointments and creams, if you suffer from dry skin; as well as doing what is best for your skin type. Also Read - World Renowned Dermatologist Suggests Skincare Routine to Get Healthy And Glowing Skin
1. Drink 8 to 10 cups of water daily.
The usual recommendation for daily intake of water is eight to 10 cups each day—this level of hydration keeps the kidneys functioning properly so the rest of your body stays hydrated. Do we need more when we are exercising and with the dry air of the winter? Ploch and Rokhsar say that it is important to stay hydrated, but not necessary to drink more water than is recommended.
2. Moisturize head to toe at least once per day.
Using a cream or lotion after showering locks the moisture into your skin before it dries completely. WebMD recommends moisturizing more than once a day.
3. Don’t spend too much time in the shower.
Your showers should last no longer than 10 minutes—longer showers will strip your skin of natural oils.
4. When washing your hands, use warm (not hot) water and moisturize immediately after.
Hot water strips hands of natural oils. Focus on scrubbing your palms, but not the tops of your hands, as the tops of your hands are more prone to dryness.
5. Try a homemade body scrub made with all-natural ingredients.
Ploch says her go-to recommendation for a homemade body scrub is to combine 2 tablespoons of brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Use this to gently exfoliate feet, hands, elbows, and knees. She also says that adding a quarter cup of rock salt to a bath is a hydrating soak for your skin. Soak for 5 minutes for best results.
She recommends exfoliating no more than once a week to keep skin staying healthy and hydrated—exfoliating the skin too often can irritate and dry out skin.
Ploch also recommends exfoliating lotions that chemically exfoliate without drying out or irritating skin. When looking out for these products, look for alpha-hydroxy acids—Ploch’s favorite exfoliating lotions are ammonium lactate and salicylic acid.
6. Don’t shave as often.
In the winter, people tend to wear more clothes and don’t need to shave as often. Shaving sloughs off dead skin cells much like an exfoliator, so if you shave too often, this can dry out your skin. Hair follicles help to trap oil closer to your skin, keeping your skin moist throughout the day. If you don’t need to bare skin every day, avoid shaving more than once each week.
7. Use an oil based moisturizer.
Humectants and emollients are oils that are used in moisturizers. Both of these act in different ways to moisturize the skin.
Humectants attract water from the air but may also attract water from deeper in the skin (the dermis) to the upper layer of the skin (the epidermis). Emollients, on the other hand, act as lubricants on the skin.
8. Always keep a moisturizing lotion in your bag.
Ploch recommends using a cream instead of a lotion for your hands. Creams are oil-based, while lotions tend to be water-based—and oil keeps skin more hydrated than water.
If you suffer from dry skin, especially on your hands, opt for an oil-based moisturizer. Ploch loves Cerave for hand cream, while Rokhsar recommends Neutrogena (Norwegian Hand Formula) for dry skin, as it has emollient properties.
9. Apply SPF 30 sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours if spending time in the sun.
It used to be a common recommendation to get 30 to 60 minutes of sun daily for vitamin D. However, new research shows that there are more harmful effects of sun exposure than there are benefits.
Rokhsar recommends avoiding the sun altogether. He says if you are spending time outside though, be sure to apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours. Many of Rokhsar’s South Asian patients suffer from melasma, a discoloration of the skin, and research shows that people who spend more time in the sun are more likely to develop melasma. Additionally, Ploch recommends using a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for adequate protection from the sun.
10. If your skin is particularly prone to dryness, use an ointment or thicker cream.
Products, like petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, shea butter, and beeswax, are good for dry skin. Applying this type of moisturizer generously before bed, while wearing warm and breathable material, will help to soften your skin faster.
11. Use a gentle moisturizer on your face.
According to a consumer report, Mary Kay, Cetaphil, and CeraVe are good moisturizers for dry and sensitive skin.
12. Protect your skin from cold and dry air with warm clothes and accessories, such as hats, gloves, and scarves.
It is important to wear warm clothes in the winter to prevent water loss from your skin. Not wearing warm clothes during cold weather can make skin even more dry. Moreover, in extreme cold, skin conditions can become worse. Some disorders that are directly related to the cold affecting skin health are peripheral vascular disease,
Some disorders that are directly related to the cold affecting skin health are peripheral vascular disease, perio, Raynaud’s, and frostbite. These conditions are related to exposure to extreme cold temperatures or restriction of blood flow to the skin.