Keep Your Skin Soft in Cold Climes
You need to adjust your skin care and moisturizing routine to
protect your skin from becoming dry and itchy during the winter, says
the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
This isn't just a cosmetic or comfort issue. Severely dry skin
can split and bleed and become less effective as a barrier against
Cold, dry winter air, low humidity caused by indoor heating, and
hot showers and baths are all factors that rob your skin of moisture
during the winter.
The skin on your face is especially vulnerable because it's the
only part of your body that's constantly exposed to the elements during
winter. To protect your face, the AAD recommends that you wash with
mild facial soap and lukewarm, not hot, water.
Don't overuse products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids. They
exfoliate the top layer of skin, which is good for dry skin, but they
also leave a new layer of skin that has no protection against bitter
Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 during the winter to
protect yourself from snow-reflected ultraviolet light. Don't forget to
use lip balm with sunscreen to protect your lips.
Here are some more general winter skin care tips from the AAD:
* Shower or bathe in lukewarm, not hot, water. Hot water removes natural oil from the skin.
* Limit showers to 10 to 15 minutes.
* Use bath oils if you do take a hot bath. Use mild soaps. Deodorant soaps are more likely to dry your skin.
* Put moisturizer on your skin immediately after a bath or shower,
while your skin is still wet. It helps trap moisture in your upper skin
* Instead of shaving cream, use lotion or hair conditioner to shave.
* Petroleum jelly is good for problem areas. It seals in moisture to help heal very dry skin.
* After you wash your hands, use hand cream to seal in moisture.
* Use a humidifier in your home to keep humidity levels higher during winter.