The cold winter months can really wreak havoc on your skin. Frigid temperatures along with wind and precipitation can cause your skin to lose its protective layer of hydration that it normally has. If you’re frequently outdoors in the wintertime, you may notice that your dry skin gets worse as the months go by. Even if you try to stay indoors as much as possible, it’s likely that the indoor air in your home is much drier during the winter months. It can be a challenge for many people to try and maintain that level of moisture on their skin that they need.
Adding Moisture to Your Indoor Air
Many people choose to use a humidifier inside of their home when the cold and dry winter air is affecting their skin. You might be used to running a dehumidifier during the warmer months of the year, but there are different needs during different seasons. Make sure that you’re choosing a humidifier unit that is big enough for the room that you’re putting it in, and you can opt for multiple humidifiers throughout the house. Just be sure to keep it clean so you’re adding healthy moisture to your air. If you don’t want to run it all day, you can make a big difference in your skin by running a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep. There are even travel humidifiers that you can take in your vehicle with you, or you can have it on your desk at work.
Using the Right Products
It’s important that you’re paying close attention to the products that you’re using when your skin is dry. Even though a product might advertise that it’s moisturizing and hydrating, the ingredient list may say something else. A lot of face wash products and lotions contain alcohol. Alcohol is very drying and should be avoided at all costs. Stick to very basic cleansers that will clean the skin without stripping away all of the natural oils you have coming from your sebaceous glands. Stay away from toners or astringents. This will only further dry your skin. After washing (avoid very hot or very cold water), opt for a basic moisturizer that will quickly soak into your skin. Reapply throughout the day as needed. If you have combination skin, be careful about what you’re using. While you may be trying to remove excess oil, you could also be drying out other areas of your skin.
When you’re going to be heading outdoors, find a way to protect your skin from the cold temperatures and wind. Keep as much of your body protected as possible. Cover your face with a scarf or gaiter. You can also use moisturizers on your skin before you head outside. Reapply when you return inside.
Baths and Showers
While the cold may have you wanting to soak in a very long and hot shower or bath, it makes more sense to stick with lukewarm water. Extreme temperatures will only suck the moisture right out of your skin. You want to avoid having your skin look very red or inflamed when you get out. Once you’ve turned off the water or gotten out of the bathtub, pat your skin dry rather than rubbing excessively. Immediately apply a moisturizer. Butters and creams work much better than products that are very thin. If you want to trap some of the moisture into your skin from your bath or shower, apply your products right to wet skin. If you feel like it’s an option, you may want to skip a shower or two each week. If your skin is feeling very dry on any given day, you might feel better if you just leave your skin alone for the time being.
If you choose the right products and make a few changes to your daily routine, you can find successful ways to keep your skin looking healthy and hydrated throughout the winter months. If you’re really battling dry winter skin that is developing into eczema, you can speak with a dermatologist about ways to replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier. If you neglect your problem of dry skin, you can really damage your skin long term. It’s often very difficult to build back up the layer of oils and moisture that your skin naturally has. Eczema is also something that’s very difficult to control once it has spiraled out of control.
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