It's cold outside! Is your skin dry as the desert?
Dry skin is especially common in the winter months, when the humidity level outside drops. When the air outside is cold and dry, the water in your skin evaporates more quickly; this makes your skin feel dry and tight, and makes it look flaky.
What causes dry skin? Lack of moisture in the upper layers of the skin causes it to dry out. It may seem counterintuitive—after all, wet is the opposite of dry. But too much exposure to water can actually dry out the skin, or cause it to become cracked and raw—especially when it’s exposed to hot water. Taking long hot showers may feel good, but hot water dries faster and can leave your skin tight, dry and itchy. Another culprit is soap, body washes or exfoliators which again feel good, but since they contain chemicals which remove the dirt and oils they also unfortunately leave you without your own defense against moisture loss.....the good oils.
The face is especially susceptible to drying out for many reasons during the winter months: cold, runny noses get wiped with tissue which dries out the nose and surrounding area; changes in the temperature and weather cause allergies and watery eyes which again get wiped away and dry out; lips are more easily chapped and although chapstick is good for you, too much can be detrimental and have the opposite effect you want when applied too often leaving your lips even more dry and cracked.
When it's cold outside people tend to drink less water simply because they don't feel as thirsty as in warmer months. Water consumption keeps your skin dewy and hydrated so that it takes less work to keep the skin from drying out.
Everyone wants younger looking skin and dry skin does not look healthy, youthful and can be uncomfortable. Here are a few tips to keep your skin hydrated, plump and dewy:
- Drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses per day). If cold water isn't appealing to you during winter try heating it and adding lemon or honey. It's soothing and will keep you hydrated from the inside out.
- Take lukewarm showers instead of steaming ones
- When you get out of the shower pat yourself dry leaving it a bit wet instead of rubbing vigourously.
- Limit baths to 5 minutes as sitting in hot water makes you perspire which is seeping your internal moisture out into the bath water causing you to lose hydration.
- Use a moisturizing soap or body wash and use only as much as needed rinsing off immediately.
- Use a good, thick emolliant moisturizer like Eucerin or Cerave immediately after you shower. This will retain the moisture on your skin and create a seal or barrier from letting it escape.
- If possible, later in the day if you are a morning shower person add another layer of moisturizer to keep your thirsty skin dewy so that the air doesn't pull moisture from your skin.