Winter can be tough on your skin, causing it to become dry and flaky. This is due to factors like cold air, indoor heating, lower humidity, and strong winds which can rob your skin of its natural moisture. This can affect not only your face but also your hands, feet, and other exposed areas. Conventional skincare regimens may not be sufficient in providing your skin with the necessary protection.
There are effective ways to combat these issues and maintain healthy and glowing skin throughout the winter. In this article, we’ll share practical tips to prevent dry winter skin. These suggestions are backed by expert insights and dermatological recommendations.
Signs Of Dry Skin
To identify dry skin, look for these common indicators:
- Rough Texture: The skin may not feel smooth, but rather uneven or grainy.
- Peeling or Shedding: Small to large pieces of skin might peel off or shed.
- Sensation of Itching: A persistent or occasional itch is often a sign of dry skin.
- Skin Reddening: The skin might show areas of redness, suggesting irritation.
- Visible Cracks or Fine Lines: You might notice small fissures or lines on the skin, which in extreme cases, can lead to bleeding.
- Feeling of Tightness: After washing or showering, the skin might feel overly tight or constricted.
- Lack of Luster: Without its natural oils, the skin can lose its usual radiance.
- Gray or Ashy Appearance: Particularly in darker skin, dry skin can appear grayish or ashen.
Remember, these symptoms can differ in severity and may be affected by factors like the environment, personal health conditions, and skincare routines.
How To Deal With Dry Skin This Winter?
Having rough skin in the cold season isn’t a given. By tweaking your skincare habits and choosing the right products, you can enjoy soft, glowing skin, even in winter. Let’s delve into these 8 tips that could help enhance your skin’s health during the chilly season.
1. Use Gentle Cleanser and Moisturize right after washing
When it comes to caring for your skin, particularly in the winter, using a gentle cleanser and moisturizing right after washing is crucial. Every time you cleanse your skin, whether it’s your face, hands, or body, you’re actually removing its natural oils. These oils are like your skin’s personal bodyguard, keeping the moisture in and leaving your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
So, when we wash them away, it’s always a good idea to bring the moisture back with a good moisturizer. And let’s not forget about those not-so-friendly ingredients in some face washes, like additives and fragrances, which can make your skin dryer than a desert! Instead, turn to face washes that have oatmeal or chamomile in them. Remember, being gentle with your skin goes a long way in keeping it happy, especially during the cold months.
2. Adopt Your Skincare Routine
Adapting your skincare routine to the demands of the winter season can make a world of difference in your skin’s health and appearance. The key lies in simplicity and hydration.
Start your day with a moisturizer, tailored to your skin type, followed by a sunscreen, an essential step regardless of the weather. This basic duo shields your skin from harsh elements and retains its natural moisture. In the evening, opt for a gentle cleanser to wipe away the day’s grime without stripping your skin’s oils, and seal in the moisture with your night cream or moisturizer.
This simplified routine might seem unadventurous, but it’s a safe and effective approach to caring for your skin during the winter months. As your skin regains its balance and comfort, slowly reintroduce other products, making sure to monitor your skin’s response. Remember, skincare is not one-size-fits-all; always listen to your skin and adjust your regimen accordingly.
3. Consider Overnight Treatments
Using overnight skincare treatments can really help improve your skin while you sleep. Here’s why they’re a good idea:
Better Absorption: Your skin repairs itself at night, making it a great time for treatments to work deeply.
Deep Moisture: These treatments are great for keeping your skin hydrated all night long.
Specific Solutions: You can find overnight treatments for various skin issues like wrinkles or dark spots.
Calming Effects: They often help calm and relax your skin after a long day.
Easy to Use: Just apply before bed, and let it do its magic overnight, saving you time in the morning.
Choose a treatment that matches your skin’s needs, and remember, a small amount is usually enough!
4. Avoid Hot Showers
Hot water can remove essential oils from your skin, causing it to dry out. Using warm water instead is a kinder option for your skin, helping it hold onto its moisture. This small adjustment can have a big impact on keeping your skin hydrated during the colder season.
In fact, studies have shown that reducing shower temperature can improve skin hydration levels, making this a practical tip for winter skincare.
5. Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating helps your skin stay soft and glowing by getting rid of old skin cells. However, if you scrub too hard or too often, or if you use the wrong kind of product, you could end up hurting your skin instead.
If your skin appears dry or flaky, it might be a better idea to use a gentle chemical-based exfoliant instead of a rough physical one. Rough scrubs with big grains can harm your skin’s natural hydration barrier. If your skin is already hurt, or looking raw or inflamed, it’s safer to stop exfoliating until it gets better.
6. Hydrate From The Inside
Keeping your skin hydrated during the winter isn’t just about what you put on it, but also about hydrating from within. Drinking sufficient water is vital for skin health, especially when it’s cold and dry outside. Even though you might not feel as thirsty in the winter, your skin still needs plenty of hydration.
Including water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet can also help. This internal approach to hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining your skin’s moisture and preventing it from becoming dry in the winter months.
You can make your dry skin healthy with the help of proper foods and supplements such as Essential Skin Food. Flaxseed oil and fish oil contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Snack on brown rice, quinoa, garlic and onions when your skin feels dry and tight. Aromatic veggies and whole grains contains selenium which improves your skin elasticity.
7. Apply Antioxidant Serum
A pivotal move to combat winter-induced dry skin might be introducing an antioxidant serum to your daily skincare routine. These serums are loaded with essential nutrients that protect and rejuvenate your skin. They’re particularly effective against the drying effects of chilly weather and indoor heating.
Antioxidant serums work by neutralizing harmful free radicals and strengthening your skin’s natural barrier, helping to keep moisture locked in. When choosing a serum, look for key ingredients like Vitamins C and E, and ferulic acid, which are celebrated for their hydrating and protective qualities.
By including an antioxidant serum in your skincare routine, you’re giving your skin an extra layer of defense against the common dryness of winter, ensuring it remains moisturized and in good health.
8. Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
Don’t let the chilly winter weather fool you – sunscreen is a must-have, no matter the season! Even when the sun hides behind the clouds, its rays can still reach our skin, causing dryness and damage. Our skin craves moisture during winter, and believe it or not, sunscreen can help keep it hydrated.
Make it a habit to add a layer of SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen after your moisturizer each morning. This little tip, recommended by skin experts from the American Academy of Dermatology Association, not only helps block harmful UV rays but also aids in maintaining youthful skin. So, remember, no matter how cold it gets, don’t skip the sunscreen!
When To See A Dermatologist?
If your skin continues to feel dry and uncomfortable despite using home remedies, it’s time to get professional help. You should book an appointment with a dermatologist if your symptoms get worse or see no improvement. A dermatologist can look at your skin, figure out what’s wrong with your skin and recommend the best suitable treatments.
To keep your skin healthy during winter, it’s essential to adapt your skincare routine. Use a gentle cleanser and always moisturize afterward to replenish lost oils. Keep your routine focused on hydration, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen daily, even in colder weather. Overnight treatments can provide extra nourishment.
Be mindful of shower temperature and exfoliation; choose warm water and gentle exfoliants. Also, staying hydrated internally is crucial, so drink plenty of water and eat hydrating foods.
If your skin issues persist despite these efforts, it’s wise to seek advice from a dermatologist. By following these simple steps, you can maintain soft, well-nourished skin throughout the winter.