For many of us, this time of year means Christmas shopping, finding childcare during winter break and hiding elves on shelves. But the season also adds another meaning to self-care. The cold dry air not only makes us want to bundle up, but it can also wreak havoc on our skin. The cracking, splitting, and flaking of dry skin, especially on our feet and hands can be painful. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, it only makes sense that we should try to take care of it.
Here is a list of eight things we can do help deal with and prevent dry skin this winter.
- Adjust Bath Water Temperature – Adjust your bath/shower habits. Long hot showers or baths can actually make dry skin even worse. Using warm water instead of hot water and limiting your wash time to 5 or 10 minutes can help to lessen the drying effects washing can have on your skin.
- Moisturize After Showering – Always moisturize soon after your bath or shower. With your pores being open, your skin is primed to accept the moisturizer you are using most readily within a few minutes after you dry yourself.
- Choose Fragrance Free Products –Just like the skin of a baby, dry skin can be easily irritated by soaps, shampoos, detergents, and anything else that may come in contact with your skin. Fortunately, there are many available name brands that you already use which offer their products with this option. If you miss the smells, opt for scents from more natural fragrances like essential oils.
- Opt for Ointments – Try and use ointments and creams over lotions. Not all moisturizers are created equal. Ointments and creams tend to have a greater effect on your skin than lotions with less irritation. Also, using moisturizers that contain oils have a more positive effect on your skin.
- Humidifiers are Your Friend – Use humidifiers for added moisture. The best way to combat dry air is to put moisture back into it. There are many types of humidifiers out there from warm mist to cool mist or ultrasonic ones. The type and size of humidifier one should use depends on a few variables such as room size and usage amount. Take the time to do a little research and your will find humidifier that works for you.
- Avoid Direct Heat – Stay warm while avoiding direct contact from heat sources. Sitting next to a heater or fireplace may be a great way to stay warm and cozy during the coldest days of the year, but the direct heat from these sources can dry out your skin.
- Nutrition Matters – Eat foods that help your skin retain moisture. – Foods rich in fatty acids, like walnuts and flaxseed, help skin cells stay hydrated.
- Focus on Your Skin Type – Skin care needs may also vary based on your ethnicity. – Some ethnic groups are more susceptible to dry skin. Additionally, different skin tones may require different types of moisturizers.
*** Don’t forget, lip balms are essential for preventing and fixing dry skin on your lips.
One aspect of skin care to always remember is that what works for one person may not work for someone else. This is especially true with the moisturizers. Everyone’s body chemistry is slightly different which means finding a moisturizer that works best for you may take a bit of trial and error. Also, our bodies are always changing, so stay aware of how effective your moisturizer is at protecting your skin. Be prepared to change it up if you notice that the lotion or cream you are using is not doing what it once did.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to go to a dermatologist if you are having issues with your skin and you are getting no results in your efforts to address it. There could be some other underlying issue going on to which you are unaware. No one is better prepared to help you with any skin issues than a dermatologist.
What are your thoughts on skin care? Do you have any home remedies you would like to share? We would love to hear them!