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5 Ways to Fight Dry Skin This Winter



While the winter may bring warm mugs of hot chocolate and relaxing evenings by the fire, it may also bring bouts of dry, irritated skin. Although frustrating to treat, dry winter skin is more common than you may think.

Our skin becomes dry when it lacks moisture. Low humidity in the winter can dry out skin, and this problem is then exacerbated by cold temperatures and harsh winds. Additionally, the lipids in our outermost layer of skin cannot effectively protect us from toxins when they are not hydrated, increasing levels of irritation and discomfort.

Unfortunately, staying inside won’t help much. Electric heaters, fire places, and hot showers can contribute to excessive dryness just as much as the elements can. Not only does this dryness feel uncomfortable to touch, but it can result in itching, stinging and raw sensations when left untreated. If you find yourself constantly scratching or buying dozens of lotions each winter, try these five easy ways to soothe your skin till spring time.

1. Humidify. The easiest way to combat the effects of low humidity is to add humidity back to your air. Dermatologists recommend that those with chronic dry skin or other conditions like eczema consider using a humidifier overnight to help replenish moisture in the epidermis of the skin. Running a humidifier in your home can not only help rehydrate the skin but combat other winter ailments like nosebleeds, cracked lips, irritated throat or vocal folds, and allergy symptoms. A recent study also found that increased indoor humidity levels helped to halt the spread of airborne viruses, as moisture is able to prevent movement of germs.

2. Try a skincare routine. While keeping good hygiene is important all year round, it is paramount in keeping your skin healthy during the colder months. Consider implementing a simple-yet-effective skincare regimen into your morning and evening routines. Try using an exfoliant scrub to gently relieve dry patches, use a gentle cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils, and consider switching to a heavy duty moisturizer. If you’re interested in going the extra mile, treat your skin with products containing vitamin C and SPF in the morning and products with colloidal oatmeal at night to maximize results. It is also best to avoid any products with added fragrance, as these can further irritate and dry out your skin.

3. Consider a water softener. If your dry skin doesn’t respond to typical remedies for dryness, your water could be to blame. Hard water, or water with excessive calcium and magnesium, can create build up of these minerals on your skin and hair, creating dryness, dullness, and irritation. Hard water also does not clean as effectively and can leave soap residue on your skin even after rinsing. Even if your dry skin is only seasonal dry skin, hard water is present all year long. If these symptoms are familiar, check for other hard water-ness related issues like streaky dishes, soap scum, and difficulty using cleaning products effectively. Stop hard water at the source by installing a water softener to rid your home’s water of any harsh and irritating minerals for good.

4. Watch what you wear. Sporting the wrong type of clothing can also have an adverse effect on your skin’s moisture. Instead of wool and synthetic fabrics that can rub against and inflame your skin, opt for naturally soft materials like cotton. Additionally, consider choosing looser fitting garments instead of tight ones that may chafe or cause constriction. If your clothing seems to irritate you no matter the fabric or shape, try switching to a free and clear, non-scented detergent or other sensitive skin laundry products.

5.Shower intentionally. Excessive time in the shower won’t wash away your dry skin– in fact, it will likely make it worse. This winter, strive to shower only once a day for no more than 5-10 minutes at a time. While bathing, it is also important to keep the temperature lukewarm, as hot water is more aggressive on your skin and quickly acts to remove its natural oils.

Dry skin is a nuisance any time of year. However, with the correct products, hydration, and humidity, you can take proactive steps to feel comfortable in your own skin no matter the season.

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