Ditch the Itch: 7 Ways to Fight Back against Winter Dry Skin

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Whether you’re “Team Winter” or “Team Summer,”

it’s COLD in my little piece of the world!

I’m not a giant fan of winter, and one of those reasons is my terribly dry skin that just itches to distraction.  I went looking for some solutions to winter dry skin, and thought I’d share 7 of my favorites with you here.

1. Moisturize your House. Your skin is the barrier between your body and the environment.  And when the air around you is dry, it’s going to rob moisture from your skin.  Investing in a humidifier could be a great weapon against dry skin, while also making your house feel more comfortable in general.

2. Go gentler.  I tend to find face products that I like and keep using them forever.  Turns out, that might not be the best thing for my winter skin.  If you like fun, flirty fragrances in your lotions, you might be wise to find something fragrance-free for winter.  You might also want to switch from a lotion to a cream (and put it on generously!), since that creamy formula is likely to have more moisturizing oomph.  Even better if that cream has Ceramides, which strengthen the skin’s barrier.

3. Switch up Your Shower Routine.  I know, nothing feels better after you’ve been cold than a long, hot shower.  But both long and hot showers can be limiting your skin’s ability to protect you from the cold.  Try bringing the temperature down a few degrees, and as best as you can, coax yourself into a slightly shorter shower.  It’s better for the environment, and it also allows your skin to retain some of its own, natural moisture.  Also, if you’re a bar soap user, try switching to a fragrance-free creamy soap, so that you step out of the shower feeling smooooth.

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4.  Go Gentler (part 2).  It’s not just your face that needs gentler products in the winter; your body does as well.  Again,  switch to a thick, fragrance-free product, and use it at least once a day.  You’ll get the most benefit from your body cream if you apply it within a minute after stepping out of the shower.    

5.  Avoid Exposure.  I start wearing mittens when most people put on a sweater, and it turns out, I was right!  Exposing your hands and face to the cold, dry air of winter can leave you with rough, red, and chapped skin.  I like to keep a pair of mittens or gloves in the pocket of each coat, so that I’m never caught without this important protection from the damage of winter.

6.  Exfoliate Gently (if at all).  I love to use a gritty exfoliant on both face and body, but it would be better for my skin if those products went on hiatus, at least for the driest months of winter.  Continuing to exfoliate will allow moisturizers to penetrate the skin, so a gentle product would be wise.  But don’t use something so rough that you redden, damage, or weaken your skin.  Go gentle for winter!

7.  Water, Water, Water.  Friends, it won’t do any good to pile moisture on the outside of your body if you’re cheating yourself from the inside.  We’re all pretty good about hydrating in the summer, when it’s so darn hot, but we also need to hydrate in the winter, when it’s so darn dry.  And don’t forget that caffiene is a diuretic, so no—you can’t just substitute coffee!

Stay warm everybody!

Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach. She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart. Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com

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