Itchy, flaky, and downright irritating – meet the many common side effects of dry skin. As a result of moisture loss, the skin becomes rough, dull, and cracked. From your face to your feet, dry skin can sneak up on even the most skin-conscious people during the winter. To prevent dry skin this winter:
Itching to learn more? Here’s everything to know about dry, winter skin.
Dry skin is most often the result of cold weather, hard water, and commercial products. Winter is the most common of the three. When the weather gets colder, humidity drops. This means that your skin no longer receives the natural moisture it craves. The result? Dry, tight skin. To make matters worse, cold weather also means cranking up the heater. While it might warm you up, the dry air lacks moisture and dehydrates your entire body – including your skin, lips, nose, and throat.
When it comes to dry skin, your skincare routine may be doing more harm than good. Fragrances and alcohol-based products contain drying properties that can damage your skin. This includes acne creams, serums, and toners. You may also notice that washing your hands causes flaky skin. Many soaps clean surfaces by stripping oil from the surface. In other words, they remove naturally-occurring oils (and moisture) from your skin.
One of the most overlooked causes of dry skin relates to the water that trickles from your faucets. Hard water contains minerals (like calcium and magnesium) that build up on your skin and wick away moisture. The same can be said about hot water. While you may enjoy a hot, steamy shower, your skin may not.
Drinking water shouldn’t be the only measure you take to overcome dry skin. That said, it can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Like all cells in the body, skin cells are made up of water. In fact, they depend on water to help flush out toxins and keep you healthy. As so, drinking enough water throughout the day can help skin cells to flush out toxins that may be contributing to your dry skin. While you hydrate from the inside-out, don’t forget to hydrate from the outside-in, too.
Softening water in your home can have countless benefits when it comes to your skin. With water softeners like Culligan’s water softening systems, you can achieve hydrating, neutralizing, and illuminating effects. These systems help combat water hardness by filtering out the harsh, dehydrating minerals that can linger on your skin. The bottom line? Soften your water to soften your skin.
Moisturizing is key to combating dry skin. Applying a non-fragrant, hydrating cream post-shower can help lock in moisture—be sure to reach for a non-fragrant cream so you don't reverse the benefits of the moisturizer.
Humidifiers have long helped fight common colds but they can help soothe dry winter skin, too. In fact, humidifiers help restore moisture in the skin, eyes, nasal passages, and lips. As a best practice, turn on your humidifier in your bedroom as soon as you turn on the heater in your home. Set it to 60% to help replenish the outermost layer of your skin. Make sure to use distilled water as well. Water filters like Culligan’s Water Filtration Systems provide clean water and can prevent a build-up of minerals in your machine. Minerals found in unfiltered water may even cause bacterial growth that can reverse the healing effects of the humidifier.
There’s nothing as inviting as a hot shower after a cold day. But, it might be worth fending off the temptation for your skin’s sake. Hot water can remove the skin’s protective oils, leaving you with flakey, irritated skin. Rather than cranking the knob all the way to the right, opt for warm water in the middle. This will give you the warmth you want while retaining the moisture and natural oils your skin needs.
From weather and water to soaps and serums, there are countless ways you could be drying out your skin. As winter approaches, make sure you’re equipped to lock in moisture with the right skin care products and water softening systems.