Cold, dry air can leave your skin itchy, red, and irritated. Combat dry winter skin with these tips for retaining your skin's natural moisture. Mostly it feels there is no escape from this wintery dryness and we live with it year on year. Basic skincare is needed all year round especially in our country where we enjoy multiple seasons every few months and face drastic temperatures.
Cold, blustery conditions outside can leave your skin feeling raw, while indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and from your skin.
Even the things that make winter wonderful, such as sitting by a roaring fire, can dry your skin, as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes. And though taking a hot shower might seem like a good way to warm up, hot water dries out your skin by stripping it of its natural oils.
But there are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long, including some easy changes to your everyday routine. For example, after taking a not-quite-so-hot shower, "blot skin dry and apply a thick moisturizer within a few minutes after bathing to seal the water into the skin. Our hands are the most effected as we wash them quite often but do not moisturise as often. Take care to do the needful and don't let the hands face the brunt of hygiene. This should be done even in summers but the quantity and number of times you moisturise will ofcorse differ.
Some simple steps to take during winters while you enjoy the warmth-
Limit your shower time & temperature: Avoid using excessively hot water and limit the time of shower/bath to 10 min max with a controlled water temperature. Washing your hands in cooler water appears to be as effective at removing germs as warm water and is less irritating to skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Post washing/bathing just towel dry yourself and moisturise your skin.
Modify your facial skincare regime for the Season: Using natural cleansers / toner handcrafted with nature's chosen ingredients you will be able to take care of your skin cleansing. Apply less of toners and astringents as most available are alcohol based, hence they tend to make skin dry; instead try to use a good moisturiser which is less sticky and seeps into the skin. At the same time, do not forget your lips, moisturise them well to prevent from chapping, breaking and bleeding. My recommendation- use any natural lip balm, or petroleum jelly, or cocoa butter.
Moisturise Frequently, especially your hands: Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. "It's best to use a cream or ointment in the winter. Lotions are better in warmer, humid climates. Hand-washing, as the CDC notes, is vital, especially during cold and flu season. Bu constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating; applying a hand cream after each washing can help. Even better is to wear waterproof gloves while doing lot of work with water.
Apply Sunscreen — Even on Gray Winter Days: On bright winter days, the sun's rays are quite sharp. That means whether you’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s just as important to be applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer. And don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter, either. The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage. Before you go outside, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body. Creams made from some natural ingredients like -Cocoa butter, honey etc have a mild SPF content and are good for daily application, and being a natural SPF these ingredients are safe to use with kids too.
Eat Right and Stay Hydrated: Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil, as suggested by many dermatologists. Keeping skin moisturised from outside is definitely important but what you eat is definitely reflected on your skin.
Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly to Avoid Itchy Skin: Wearing wet clothes and shoes can further irritate your skin and cause itchiness. If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.
If you still experience dryness, discomfort, and irritation after trying these healthy skin tips, then it is advisable to take some medical help.