Tips for Maintaining Moist, Supple Skin During Dry Winter Months
For many people, winter brings with it irritated, itchy and dry skin. And it can feel like there’s no remedy as the intensely cold conditions of the outdoors leave you with a raw feeling, and the indoor heat eliminates the moisture from both the air and your skin.
Even the great things about the winter, like sitting around the fireplace, can make your skin dry. Similarly, taking a hot shower might seem like a great idea to warm yourself up a bit but the hot water strips naturals oils from your skin, leaving it dry and irritated.
There are, however, a number of ways to ensure your skin is supple and moist throughout the winter. You can include some of these practices in your daily skin care routine. For instance, avoid taking intensely hot showers. Also, blot your skin after showering and apply ample moisturizer to trap moisture on your skin.
Here are a few other tips.
Maximize moisture with a humidifier
Invest in a humidifier for your home or office to add moisture to the air in your indoor environment during dry winter months and ensure that your skin remains hydrated. Put the humidifier in the rooms in which you spend most of your time, such as your bedroom, home office, or living area.
Reduce dryness in the air by lowering the thermostat
When the weather outside becomes increasingly cold, the first thing you tend to do is increase the indoor heat. However, central heating can make the air in your home increasingly dry. Denver skin clinic specialists recommend setting your thermostat at a temperature that is cool yet comfortable (between 68-72 °F) to maintain moist skin.
Limit the shower temperature and time
Tempting as it may be to take a long, scalding hot shower, you’re better off taking a brief (5-10 minutes) lukewarm shower. Likewise, avoid washing your hands with exceedingly hot water that reddens your skin. Contrary to common belief, cool water is as effective as hot water at removing germs during hand washing, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Furthermore, cool water is not as irritating to your skin as hot water. Finally, when using the hand-dryer in the restroom, use it until your hands are barely damp, rather than until your hands are completely moisture-free.
Use gentle cleansers that are fragrance-free
Using the wrong soap can leave your skin dry and itchy. In fact, a number of regular bar soaps contain fragrances and other ingredients that cause skin irritation. Give preference to moisturizing gels or cleansers that are free of fragrances. When shopping for soap, look for the words “unscented” or “fragrance free” on the label.
You can further prevent skin problems associated with dry winters by limiting your overall use of soap. Lather only the necessary areas, such as hands, feet, genitals and armpits.
In summary, avoid doing things that may lead to excessively dry skin. Skincare practices that encourage moist, supple skin include using a humidifiers, turning down the thermostat, avoiding extended hot showers, and using gentle fragrance-free cleansers.