Dry skin is a common problem that most of us will experience at some point or another, particularly in the winter months. In cold, dry weather it is much harder for our skin to retain water, which can leave us feeling itchy, flaky, and downright uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that cranking up the heat indoors is a recipe for dry skin disaster. So…how do we combat it?
Layer your protection.
Moisturize daily with lotions from dermatologist-trusted brands like Aveeno and Aquaphor. These lotions are high in ingredients that lock in moisture. In addition to a lotion layer, make sure to protect your skin with proper winter gear like gloves and scarves, paying special attention to the places that are most exposed.
Moisturize at the right time.
The best time to moisturize is right after you get out of the shower, when your pores are open and your skin is still damp. Pat excess water off your skin with a towel and then rub lotion over your entire body before leaving the bathroom. This will help seal moisture into your skin on a daily basis.
Monitor your shower habits.
As tempting as it may be, try to avoid long, hot showers. Warm showers that last less than fifteen minutes are ideal because they are less likely to dry out your skin. Additionally, many dermatologists recommend soaping up only the important parts of the body on a daily basis (such as underarms, nether regions, and feet). Washing your skin too much, especially in excessive hot water, can strip your skin of natural oils and leave you feeling as dry as the Sahara.
Invest in a humidifier.
Some find that using a humidifier counteracts many of the drying effects of indoor heating. Investing in a decent humidifier can restore moisture to the air, not only combating dry skin but also preventing dry nose and throat.
Make sure you hydrate.
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, try to drink at least eight cups of water a day. This should help with hydration and keep your skin from feeling dry and scaly. If you’re sick of water, tea is a great alternative to help you hydrate (and combat the cold, too!).
My favorite products:
As someone who battles with dry skin year round, I have a lot of trouble finding products that are strong enough. I’ve tried hundreds of lotions and exfoliants only to be disappointed by their ineffectiveness. However, over the years I’ve come to know and love a few products that seem to work better than the rest (at least for me).
Among them is my all-time favorite exfoliant: Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion by Kiehl’s. Made with micronized shells and willow herb, this is the only exfoliant I feel has actually made a difference in my skin. It’s a harsher exfoliant, so if you have sensitive skin it may not be for you. But it noticeably scrubs away dead cells better than any other product I’ve tried and leaves my skin brighter and more receptive to moisture. I often follow up the exfoliant with Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream with Rare Resurrection Flower because it keeps my skin smooth and moisturized in the winter, and throughout the year.