Aug 292009
 

Learn how to stop winter from drying your skin with these tips for keeping skin hydrated! You can prevent the cold weather air from making your skin weathered and flaky.

One way to protect your skin is to remember that skin dries out if it’s deprived of water. This dryness often causes itchiness, resulting in a condition commonly referred to as “winter itch.”

“Most of us experience dry and itchy skin from time to time, but you should seek medical attention if discomfort becomes severe,” says Dr. Anjali Dahiya, a dermatologist at the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “The best thing you can do to relieve the itch is to moisturize your skin because, unfortunately, you can’t do anything about the weather.”

To take care of your skin, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a skin moisturizer. Even the mid to low cost moisturizers are effective and long-lasting. The Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment is the most popular treatment for dry skin on Amazon.

And, here are eight tips for keeping your skin hydrated in winter…

How to Stop Winter From Drying Your Skin

1. To protect your skin, moisturize every day and night. Cream moisturizers are better than lotions for normal to dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, choose a moisturizer without fragrance or lanolin. “Remember, dry skin is due to lack of water,” says Dr. Dahiya. “Apply moisturizers immediately after bathing or showering, while your skin is still wet to trap water in the skin.”

2. Cleanse your skin, but don’t overdo it. Too much cleansing removes skin’s natural moisturizers and dries your skin. It is enough to wash your face, hands, feet, and between the folds of your skin once a day. While you can rinse your trunk, arms, and legs daily; it is not necessary to use soap or cleanser on these areas every day.

If you have eczema, here’s a natural oatmeal treatment for eczema.

3. Limit the use of hot water and soap – it dries your skin. If you have “winter itch,” take short lukewarm showers or baths with a non-irritating, non-detergent-based cleanser. Immediately afterward, apply a mineral oil or petroleum jelly type moisturizer. Another way to stop winter from drying your skin is to gently pat your skin dry.

4. Use a humidifier to keep your skin hydrated. A humidifier is an effective way to keep your skin healthy. However, be sure to clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions to reduce mold and fungi.

5. Protect your skin from the wind. Cover your face and use a petroleum-based balm for your lips. The cold wind in winter can weather your skin and increase the appearance of wrinkles.

For more anti-aging tips, read How Does the Sun Cause Skin Cancer? Summer Cancer Prevention.

6. Avoid extreme cold. Winter can do more than dry your skin: cold temperatures can cause skin disorders or frostbite in some people. See a doctor immediately if you develop color changes in your hands or feet, especially if it’s accompanied by pain or ulceration. If you develop extreme pain followed by loss of sensation in a finger or toe, you may have frostbite.

7. Protect your skin from the sun. Winter sun can be as dangerous to the skin. Even in the winter months you should use a sunscreen with a sun-protection factor of 15 or greater, if you’ll be outdoors for prolonged periods. Overexposure to the sun’s rays can lead to premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. If you want to tan, consider tanning without the sun with a self-tanner.

8. Talk to your dermatologist if you have trouble keeping your skin hydrated. If you have persistent dry skin, scaling, itching, skin growths that concern you, or other rashes, see your dermatologist – not only in winter, but throughout the year.

If you struggle with acne, read 7 Adult Acne Treatment Tips.

If you have any thoughts on these ways to stop Old Man Winter from drying your skin, please comment below…

Adapted from information from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center.

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (but I wish my name was Rosie Frost!). I'm a bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer. My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher, Mr Merritt, always used to ask me that. And I am happy - despite a difficult childhood (schizophrenic mother, no father, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian.

How is your life unfolding - what do you need? I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion.... Laurie

  2 Responses to “How to Stop Winter From Drying Your Skin – Keep Skin Hydrated”

  1. Thanks for your comment – I hadn’t thought about spa treatments for stopping winter from drying your skin! I haven’t had a spa treatment for ages…I think it’s time to get pampered :-)

  2. Clear communication is essential for getting the most out of your spa experience. Be honest when filling out medical forms to ensure that products and procedures don’t compromise your health. And always ask your spa professional to explain the procedures and products that are used in your treatment. If something is uncomfortable or painful, speak up.