Many people love the changing of the seasons. Lighting a fire for the first time, crunching through brightly colored leaves, making the first pumpkin pie of fall, breaking out the menorah or cranking Bing Crosby … these are among our favorite hallmarks of autumn and winter. Dry, flakey skin? Not so much. Yet as November rolls by and turns to December, January and February, many of us experience the itching, peeling, burning, soreness and sensitivity that signal dry skin. Unfortunately, many seasonal comforts (among them roaring thermostats and scorching showers) only add to the problem.
But wait, you’re thinking, I don’t have dry skin! In fact, it’s usually pretty oily, especially in the summer. Well, bad news: your skin can still dry out during the winter. In fact, many people who think they have oily skin actually have normal skin that simply overproduces oil in response to being stripped with harsh products. Others have combination skin, which is oily in some places but dry in others. Still others have oily skin in summer, but lose that natural protection to winter’s lower, moisture-sucking temperatures.
While usually dry skin just results in cracking, peeling, flaking, itchiness or discomfort, it can also have more extreme effects, such as eczema or rosacea. All symptoms commonly manifest on the face and hands (which receive the most exposure to drying wind, harsh winter sun and are washed most frequently), but they can appear anywhere on the body.
No matter what your skin type or what your symptoms, if your skin gets dry in the winter, you probably want to do something about it. Pure Skin Tones offers a great visual breakdown of the top winter skin protection tips, but it’s worth recapping them here to ensure you have the best chance of preserving your glowing, healthy, flake-free complexion. Here’s two worth highlighting.
Two Tips for Preventing Dry Skin
Limit the Heat
First, understand that while heat feels great in the winter, it’s very bad for your skin. Hot showers or baths and cranked heaters zap humidity from the air, reducing your skin’s ability to fight dryness. Limit your exposure to hot water and wear extra layers instead of turning up the heat. Hydrate your skin after you wash using a thick oil-based moisturizer. You may add sunblock to your regimen or choose a lotion that contains an SPF, but either way don’t fall prey to the myth that the sun’s rays aren’t harmful in winter: they are.
Exfoliate once a week to keep skin and pores clear of flaky debris, and avoid harsh soaps, which only dry skin further. Wear gloves on your hands and minimize the time you spend exposed to cold air. If instituting these habits doesn’t clear up your dry skin, you may need to see a specialist to figure out what’s causing the issue. For most people, though, these tips do the trick.
More Tips for Beautiful Winter Skin
Want more tips for keeping your skin beautiful all winter long? This info-graph has it all in one place so it’s easy to pin and remember! About the Author
Chelsea Mason is a writer and who aspires to open her own beauty salon. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 golden retrievers. She has a degree in fashion from Penn State (Go Lions!).