In these cold dry winter months my skin is always so tight and dry feeling. It’s so uncomfortable and irritating, embarrassing too. Many people experience dry, itchy skin in these cold winter months. I looked to About.com’s Beauty Guide, Julyne Derrick, for some helpful tips and advice on how combat dry, itchy skin. Below are excerpts from a recent article she wrote on the subject.
Why Do I Suffer From Dry Skin in the Winter?
In winter, low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds deplete skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps the skin from drying out. The dry air from furnaces and other heating sources also suck the moisture out of skin. To keep skin soft and supple, your goal is not to add moisture to skin, but to keep moisture in.
Dry Skin Tip 1: Keep Water Lukewarm, Not Hot
Hot water robs skin of moisture causing dry skin, so it's best to shower in lukewarm water. If you can't bear this rule, try to keep your showers short and try showering only once per day. This also means skipping hot tubs.
Dry Skin Tip 2: Moisturize After Showers or Hand Washing
Your skin will tell you when it's dry. If your skin feels tight and taut, it's time to add moisture. There are so many tips to moisturizing skin that Julyne created an article on it.. Here is an excerpt from this article: "The Best Way to Apply Moisturizer":
Moisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. For best effect, pat skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel before applying lotions or oils.
How to Keep Your Face Moisturized
I found that exfoliating is key to great skin, as is steaming. I took to (believe it or not), standing in the bathroom with the shower on (I was not in it, it is too hot) and absorbing the steam on my face. It works even better with a bowl of steaming hot water and a tablespoon of dried lavender in the bowl. With a towel over your head bend your face near the bowl and breathe in. Do this for as long as you can or until the water is not steaming anymore. This is also beneficial for breathing problems.
Instead of using a scrub to exfoliate your face try a wet wash cloth soaked in coconut oil (use a good brand).
Wash it in a circular motion and it will moisturize and exfoliate at the same time. If you need a little bit more moisture at night consider using Aloe Shea Dream by Laura’s Lotions. It has Shea butter and Almond oil in it for uber moisture and Aloe vera and Vitamin E for healing.
Dry Skin Tip 3: Exfoliate on a Weekly or Semi-Weekly Basis
Your moisturizers will be so much more effective if you exfoliate first. To exfoliate your face, try coconut oil and a wet washcloth and rub in circular motion. For the rest of your body try a body scrub with Dead Sea salts or sugar blended with all-natural oils. Laura’s Lotions makes and carries a wonderful all natural Dead Sea Salt Scrub oozing with organic Olive Oil and Dead Sea Salts. Go to Laura's Lotions for an amazing body scrub.
Dry Skin Tip 4: Invest in a Humidifier
The moisture in the air is actually good for your skin. If you have a room heated by a furnace, the moisture in the room can be as little as 10%. During these dry winter months try sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom.
Buy a humidifier online. Compare Prices
Julyne says that your skin needs more than 30 percent humidity to stay properly moisturized
Dry Skin Tip 5: Skip the Drying Soaps
Soaps can be drying. Stick with a creamy moisturizing cleanser that contains glycerin or petroleum. Never wash your face with soap. Try water instead and exfoliate once a week. You will never go back to soap again.
Dry Skin Tip 6: Baby Your Hands & Feet
Your hands and feet can suffer terribly from dry, itchy skin. Put on moisturizer and gloves BEFORE you head outdoors in the winter.
(PS. Laura’s Lotions has a variety of choices from sensitive to normal type skin. Click this link and try us!)
Dry Skin Tip 7: Don't Forget Your Lips
Licking your lips will dry them out not moisten them. Lips retain less moisture than other parts of the body, so they tend to dry out more quickly. A simple lip balm works wonders.
Dry Skin Tip 8: Protect Your Face Too
If you have very sensitive skin, think about not using tap water, there are minerals that are especially drying to the skin (Dr. Dennis Gross says New York water contains a lot of harsh minerals, while Seattle water, for example, does not.) Try washing your face and neck and décolletage areas with bottled spring water. (P.s you can rub a little of organic Coconut oil from the health food store. Apply it on your face rinse with lukewarm water and pat your face dry. If you are going to bed right away put a towel down on your pillow to keep it from getting a greasy stain.)
Dry Skin Tip 9: Consider Fish Oil Pills
Studies show omega-3 fish oil pills may soothe super dry skin. Patients, who took fish oils pills in a study reported in Allure magazine, saw significant results within a few weeks. "You can see, within six weeks, the skin, hair and nails improve markedly," according to skin expert Dr. Andrew Weil in Allure.
You can get kosher fish oil pills at KosherVitamins.com.
I keep lotion on in the winter at all times. You would be amazed at what a improvement in your skin with just these few of these simple tips. Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is one way to keep bacteria at bay. Stay healthy and hydrated this holiday season!