Five Tips to Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Winter
By Dr. Saya Obayan
Dry, cold weather outside in combination with indoor heating can completely change the texture and dryness of your skin. You may notice your skin getting dry and itchy, your hands getting rough and lips become chapped. Here are some ways to prevent these skin conditions:
Although we may forget to moisturize in the summer when it’s warm and humid, it is crucial to do so during winter. Ointments are the most moisturizing, but creams are also great for preventing dry skin. I recommend leaving the bathroom door closed right after a shower and moisturizing for three minutes to ensure maximum absorption into your skin. Make sure to moisturize areas prone to getting dry throughout the day, especially before you leave to go outside. I recommend brands including CeraVe, Aveeno, Cetaphil or Vanicream. Moisturizers in a jar are usually thicker and more effective than a pump container.
Protect your hands and lips:
Applying ointment to your hands and wearing gloves can protect your skin from the cold weather. You should also apply ointment to your lips before bed, or going outside, to create a barrier against the wind and cold temperatures. I recommend brands like Aquaphor, Norwegian Formula Hand Cream or Vaseline to apply to hands with gloves at night to leave your skin feeling smooth and soft in the morning.
Changing bathing habits:
As recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, using a gentle cleanser and lathering with your hands, rather than using a loofah or washcloth, is preferable in the winter. Showering with lukewarm water instead of hot water can help prevent eczema flares or excessively dry skin. Hot water strips natural skin oils and causes excessive dryness, so stick to cool or lukewarm water.
Sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. Skiing or snowboarding can cause severe sunburns because you are exposed to double doses of UV rays, both from the sun and sun rays reflecting off the snow.
Indoor heated air can be very dry. Consider running a humidifier in your bedroom or home to restore moisture, which can help prevent dry itchy skin. This is especially important for adults and children with eczema.
Dry skin can cause microscopic cracks in the skin, which can easily lead to infection. For this reason, we strongly recommend being conscious and careful with your skin in the winter. If you have a dry skin condition like eczema, be proactive and start these tips today!
We recommend a visit with your local Board-Certified Dermatologist to help create a customized and effective skin care plan this winter for your specific skin type. Make an appointment with Dr. Obayan today.