I think we can all agree that this winter has been nothing short of a doozy. The nation has been in a deep freeze for what seems like an eternity. It’s been tough on the roads, schools, and especially heating bills. But, there’s another, less talked about consequence of harsh winter days: dry skin.
As temperatures plummet, the cold air loses a great deal of moisture. Because of that loss, the air begins to steal moisture from your skin, especially when you add wind into the mix. This, combined with the constant indoor heat you’re exposed to all winter, can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy, and can even result in cracking, flaky areas.
Don’t worry; there’s hope. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from moisture theft in the harsh, cold and relentless winter months.
Don’t Wash Away Your Winter Blues
Skin care starts first thing in the morning. Winter mornings are rough; there’s no two ways to slice it. It’s freezing, and you’re snuggled up warm in bed, but you have to get up and get going. While your instincts may be to warm yourself in a steamy shower, you’ll have to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Those hot showers can dehydrate your skin, leaving you feeling like a piece of dried-out fruit. Adjust the nozzle to the coolest setting that you can stand, and try to avoid using products containing detergents that wash away essential oils that help protect your skin.
Lock In Your Skin’s Moisture
While it may seem like advice you hear only in the hot summer months when dehydration is a concern, drinking water is key to preventing dry skin all year round. However, as USA Today points out, if you don’t seal in the added moisture within your body by using moisturizing skin products, it’ll evaporate. It’s also not a bad idea to reassess whether the skin products that worked for you in warmer weather are still doing the trick. You may find that you fare better with a heavier moisturizer, or that you at least need to make adjustments to your current routine, according to About.com. Pay particular attention to your hands and feet, which are especially susceptible to irritation.
Protect Yourself from the Elements
OK, so you’re showered, hydrated and moisturized, but you still have some things to take care of before you head out into the harsh winter air. First, you’ll want to grab your sunscreen. That’s right, sunscreen. You’re not alone if you think it’s something you only need in summer, but that’s a common mistake. Thanks to the reflecting properties of snow, sunburn is a very real threat in the winter. The sun can still cause skin damage in the winter, so it’s very important to protect yourself with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. One last thing to check off your list before you grab your keys and head out the door: Protect your hands and feet with a cozy pair of gloves and socks.
Humidify Your Home
With all the hot, dry air pumping through your home in the winter, adding moisture back in the air with a humidifier just makes sense. It will be one of your best defenses against winter skin irritation.
Do you have any more tips to keeping your skin in tip-top shape in the winter? Let us know in the comments below!