Dry skin can be a problem all throughout the year, but the problem gets worse during the winter months. This happens due to lack of moisture in the air and people prefer to use heating systems while staying indoors. People of all ages and with all skin types can suffer from dry and flaky skin during the winter days. Due to skin dryness, people can even suffer from other skin problems such as itchiness, roughness, flaky skin, redness, cracked skin, chapped lips and etc.
Special winter care for dry skin can help you prevent all associated problems. Some of the essential skin care tips to avoid dry skin in winter are listed below:
Avoid hot water:
Though hot water feels good, it is not at all healthy for your skin. Hot water strips your body of its natural oil barrier, and hence your skin becomes unable to trap moisture. Due to this your skin does not feel smooth and moist. This is why beauty experts recommend short, warm showers or baths and after that you need to immediately apple some moisturizer all over your body.
Apply moisturizing lotion:
To achieve soft, supple and moisturized skin, it is important to moisturize your skin regularly. Moisturize when your skin is damp. Moisturizing when your skin is still slightly wet helps to seal in more hydration. A good moisturizer with natural oils and herbal ingredients will help to maintain the moisture level and keep your skin hydrated. At the same time you need to use soap with moisturizing cream in it, and avoid oil free soaps and shower gels as they make your skin dry.
Use petroleum jelly:
Your must regularly apply petroleum jelly on your skin to avoid cracks and dry skin. It is a good idea to massage your hands and legs using petroleum jelly twice a day in order lock the moisture in your skin. As petroleum jelly can be thick and sticky, it may be best to apply it at night. Try dampening your skin, putting on a layer of your regular moisturizer, then a applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to seal everything in.
Drink enough water:
In the winter months, you may feel less thirsty but this does not mean that your body does not need water. You must drink plenty of water throughout the day as moisture evaporates from the skin and makes it dry and cracked in winters. On an average eight to ten glasses of water a day is recommended. Water will prevent dehydration of the body in general and especially the skin.
Stay away from heated areas:
During the winter month, you may feel the urge to sit near the fire place or heater for a few minutes. But this is not a good option for the health of your skin. As much as possible avoid extremely heated areas, and make sure that you do not lay or sit near fire place or heater for a long period of time as it will takes away the moisture from the skin. This may result in rough, flaky and cracked skin.
Say no to harsh products:
Be it winter or any other season of the year, you must not use any kind of harsh product that further strips your skin of moisture. Choose your skin care products wisely and if possible opt for herbal products and choose products according to your skin type. You can buy skin care and beauty products that contain jojoba oil, Shea butter, almond oil, olive oil or grape seed oil to keep your skin well moisturized.
Use hand lotions:
Every time you wash your hands during the day, dry them off and apply a pump of hand lotion. This is the best way to keep your hands moisturized around the clock. And do not forget to keep a travel-size hand lotion bottle in your handbag whenever you go out of your home.
With furnaces running, doors and windows tightly closed and air being re-circulated constantly, dry air is all around which cause skin. Using a humidifier in your room will immensely help to add moisture to the air. Simply fill a big bowl of water and place it in front of your heating vents, or else you can buy a professional humidifier.
Shaving during the winter months can irritate dry skin. This happens as while shaving you also remove the natural oils from your skin. Try to shave immediately after taking a shower. During this time, hairs are softer, making shaving easier.
Sun damage is one of the main causes behind dry skin. You can help prevent that damage by wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen year round. Such kind of sunscreen will give the added benefit of sun protection and will protect the sensitive skin on your face from damaging sun rays, which cause burns, sun spots and even wrinkles. You can find moisturizing sunscreens as ointments, creams, gels, even sprays.
Eat fresh fruit and vegetables:
A healthy and balanced diet will help your skin by providing the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy and hydrated. Try to eat at least two portions of green, leafy vegetables and two portions of seasonal fruits daily. Fruit and vegetables with high-water content, such as watermelon, broccoli and tomatoes can help to combat dry skin.
Do not smoke:
The negative side effects of smoking are well known, but very few people are aware of the fact that smoking is immensely bad for the skin. The tar contained in cigarettes clogs the pores, leading to blackheads and breakouts. Smoking also depletes the tissues of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy-looking skin.
Limit alcohol intake:
Alcohol dehydrates the body which in turn can cause skin dryness. It decreases the body’s ability to absorb water due to which the skin becomes dry and red. Try to drink alcohol in limit. Also when drinking alcohol, have a glass of water between drinks.
Exfoliating can be great to get rid of dead skin cells and for smoothing the skin. However, many facial scrubs can also strip the skin of moisture and irritate dry skin. This is why it is important to exfoliate gently, using the right products and techniques. Ensure that you moisturize the exfoliated cuticles comprehensively. This includes the spots of thicker, dry skin found along the heels, elbows and needs. It is better to use nourishing oils like sesame or coconut oil for this.
Change your products:
You may need to change the products you use, according to changes in your skin or the time of year. In colder months, you may to switch to a richer moisturizer. In summer, you should use one with an SPF. If you have combination skin, it may be necessary to use a lighter moisturizer on the parts of your skin that gets oily and a heavier one where your skin gets dry.
By following the above mentioned tips you can enjoy well moisturized and supple skin throughout the winter months.