Feeling like a desert? The winter can dry out anyone’s skin, and if you’re already prone to dry skin, you might spend the entire season feeling like a dried-up sponge. That doesn’t have to be your fate every winter, though. Use these strategies to fight back against dryness and hydrate your skin during any season.
Use a Hydrating Sunscreen
Mornings are busy and adding another step to your morning prep routine might not sound appealing, even if it’s the answer to your skin dryness woes. Try using multi-functional products instead. A hydrating sunscreen will give you the daily sun protection you need while also holding moisture in your skin so you spend the day feeling more refreshed.
Choose Multiple Hydrating Products
If your moisturizer just isn’t getting the job done as far as hydrating your skin, you might need to double down…but not by applying an extra-thick layer of your moisturizer. You can typically use multiple hydrating products at the same time.
For instance, in addition to using moisturizer, add a hydrating serum to your routine. You can also throw in the occasional hydrating mask for a deep, rich moisturizing treatment.
Be Strategic with Your Showers
A long hot bath can feel like heaven on a cold, dry winter day, but trust me, it will backfire. Hot water can pull the moisture out of your skin so that you end up feeling drier than you did when you started. Follow these tips to make sure your showers or baths aren’t working against you:
- Limit showers or baths to ten minutes or less
- Close the bathroom door so the humidity stays in the room
- Use warm water but not hot water
- Use a gentle or hydrating cleanser for your soap or body wash
- Apply moisturizer immediately after you shower
Swap Out Harsh Products
If you’re struggling with dry skin, you might be surprised to find a traitor in your midst…that is, there might be a product in your skin care lineup that’s working against you. Take a close look at your skin care routine. Are there any products with active ingredients that are known to pull moisture out of skin? You can find out by checking the active ingredients on the label and doing some quick Googling.
If you find any potential troublemakers, swap them out for an alternative. When in doubt, it’s typically safe to choose a product that is labeled for dry skin.
Add Moisturizer to Your Handwashing Routine
Dry skin can affect any area of your body, but dry hands are especially common during the winter flu season. You’re washing your hands often to try to stay healthy, and every time you wash your hands, the moisture gets sucked away.
It doesn’t take long to end up with dry, flaky, cracked skin, especially if you’re working a job that requires you to wash your hands frequently like healthcare or food service. If this happens, start the habit of applying hand lotion after every time you wash your hands.
Hydrate the Air
Part of the reason your skin gets so dry in the winter is because the winter air is dry. We won’t take you back to your science classes about homeostasis, but water will always move toward the area that has less water. So, when the air is dry, moisture evaporates out of your skin more quickly.
Moisturizer can help, but you can also address the problem from the opposite angle: making the air less dry. Use a humidifier that releases cool water vapor to improve the humidity so your skin doesn’t have to supply the air with so much hydration.
Choose Layers Over Heaters
While winter air is dry enough on its own, heaters and other heat sources make the problem even worse by grabbing even more moisture from the air. The higher you turn up your heater, the drier the air will get.
If your home is drafty or if you want to keep the thermostat low, warm up by wearing layers and cozying up with blankets rather than by adding another heat source like a space heater. It’s safer, more cost-effective, and less drying for your skin.
Enjoying Your Winter with Hydrated Skin
You don’t have to spend this winter struggling with dry, itchy skin. You just need to be a bit more strategic and take proactive measures. Use the tips above to enjoy the winter wonderland without feeling dry and uncomfortable all season long.