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Winter has arrived. In addition to all the enjoyable aspects of the season, winter brings with it dry, flaky skin.
For many Americans, cold weather does a number on our skin. We might experience dryness on our scalp in the form of dandruff, or it might appear on our hands, arms, legs, or face.
Fireplaces and HVACs run constantly during the winter to warm our homes, however, the heat also dries humidity from indoor air. As a result, the dry air sucks moisture from skin.
Luckily, there are a few things we can do to minimize dry skin in winter. These actions include drinking more water, moisturizing, eating right, and adjusting our bathing routine.
Below, we’ll review a few of the best winter tips for dry skin!
Winter Tips For Dry Skin (And Itchy Eczema)
1. Moisturize Morning and Evening
Ideally, our skin should naturally stay moisturized. But there’s nothing wrong with helping it out.
Moisturizer can be just the thing to help lock in moisture and prevent it from evaporating into the air. Don’t be afraid to use it. During winter, I recommend moisturizing in the morning and evening (immediately after bathing).
My go-to moisturizers are Cetaphil (great for sensitive skin) and grapeseed oil (100% natural). I’ll use grapeseed oil on my face and the lotion on larger areas of my body.
We usually act on dry skin after the fact, however, it’s important to anticipate the change of weather and begin a moisturizing routine before dry skin appears.
2. Drink More Water (Sipping)
Have you ever been on a long plane flight and noticed your skin gets really dry? Due to the lack of moisture in the air, the moisture in your skin is literally pulled out of your skin.
In winter the same thing occurs, albeit at a much slower rate. Your skin needs fluid to hydrate and water is the perfect thing to help bring your skin back to life.
Most people drink a lot of water at once, however, this isn’t the best way to rehydrate your body. It will pass through your body quickly.
Drinking a small amount of water more frequently is the best way to go. The body can absorb the fluid easier and it should give your body more consistent moisture.
3. Give Your HVAC A Break
It’s common for the HVAC to be used a lot during winter. In most cases, it will remain on, set to a specific temperature for several months.
Price-conscious households might turn off the HVAC at night while sleeping. Doing so will save a few bucks on your electricity bill, but it will also give the air in your house a break.
An HVAC that is running constantly will circulate air and dry it out. Giving your heating system a break for several hours each day/night will help ensure there is adequate humidity in your indoor air, and you’ll likely feel it in our skin.
4. Use A Humidifier
If you use an HVAC often during winter, you’ll have dry air in your home. A humidifier can help.
Humidifiers are commonly used for children who have colds, allergies, or asthma. There are small options for the bedroom and whole house humidifiers.
Most larger options allow you to set the humidity to your desired level. They make indoor air easier to breathe and more comfortable.
I’ve used a humidifier off and on for years and keep a small device near my bed. It’s perfect for winter and helps relieve dry skin and sore throats.
5. Add Fish Oil Supplements To Your Diet
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. You’ve probably heard of fish oil because it’s a common “miracle supplement” that has benefits ranging from the heart to skin.
Fish oil supplements (check on Amazon) are a great option for dry skin in winter because they regulate the body’s oil production. In turn, this aids hydration by creating a protective barrier for the outer layers of skin.
Add fish oil to a morning or evening routine and take them with a meal. Fish oil supplements are also good for eczema and hair. Of course, you can always eat more cold water fish, but supplements are just easier!
6. More Warm Baths, Less Hot Showers
We all like hot showers but hot water against the skin causes us to lose protective oils (it simply washes them away until our body can create more oil).
To combat the loss of natural body oils, conserve the oils that you have on your skin. Rather than take hot showers, opt for lukewarm baths instead.
Doing so will help your skin keep its protective barrier of oil on the skin and result in well-hydrated, great looking skin.
Another tip is to reduce the length of bathing and the frequency. Instead of bathing 2 times per day, try bathing 1 time per day or once every other day.
It might seem unhygienic, but it’s not. It wasn’t too long ago that a bath every other day was completely normal.
7. Pat-Dry and Moisturize Immediately After Bathing
Once bathing complete, the immediate response will be to vigorously wipe away all the water on your body. Don’t rub the towel against the skin.
Instead, pat-dry the body – it’s gentle on the skin and won’t remove the body’s natural oils. Moisturize immediately after drying off.
If you’ve got the patience, try air-drying (naturally drying without a towel).
8. Wear Soft Clothes Like Cotton and Silk
We tend to wear a lot of clothes in winter. When walking, our clothes can rub against our skin and cause irritation.
Synthetic blends in clothes have become popular and they aren’t the best options for dry, scaly skin. In fact, they can further irritate dry skin in winter.
It’s wise to use cotton and silk clothes if you have dry skin. They will soothe skin and feel soft when in contact. You can use cotton and silk materials as a base layer so your skin is protected and wear synthetic materials over them.
9. Take A Vacation To A Tropical Destination
The last winter tip for dry skin is to get out of the winter weather. It may sound like a stretch, but it’s not uncommon for families to vacation in a warm climate during winter.
Sunshine is healthy for the body and most of us don’t get enough sun (vitamin D) during winter. Also, tropical climates have at least a little humidity.
Your skin will appreciate it and it’s a great excuse for an adventure.
Taking care of your skin during winter is important if you want to avoid dry, irritated skin. With a little planning, as well as a routine, your skin can remain vibrant even in the harshest winter climate.
Hydrate, moisturize, and be aware of HVAC use. Wear soft clothing, consider a humidifier, bathe less frequently and pat-dry afterward.
It doesn’t take much to relieve your dry skin in winter. Go get started!