As the temperature plummets and snow blankets the ground, skin dryness becomes an incredibly common concern. Even people who don’t normally have dry skin can suffer from winter dryness, while people who do have dry skin year-round may find the fact that their skin gets dry during the winter nigh unbearable.
Given that the winter months bring with them more rain and snow, it can be confusing as to why your skin gets dry during the winter. With all the moisture all around you, shouldn’t it be the opposite?
Here’s what you need to know about some of the common reasons why your skin gets dry during the winter and some helpful steps that you can take in order to hydrate it.
Why Does Your Skin Get Dry During The Winter?
When your skin doesn’t retain enough moisture, you can find yourself suffering from uncomfortably dry skin. Your skin may end up having rough patches, start flaking, be itchy, get red, and more. Some people even end up bleeding, their skin gets so dry.
This is due to a lessened amount of moisture in your skin barrier. In spite of all the snow and rain, humidity levels lower in the winter. This means that there’s less moisture in the air. Your skin barrier requires moisture in order to do its job properly and prevent harmful toxins from getting into your body. However, when dry, winter environments strip your skin of its natural moisture, you can end up with dry, damaged skin.
There are a few reasons why your skin gets dry during the winter beyond decreased humidity levels. Some of them are as follows:
- Indoor heating. This is a necessity for your comfort, but it also dries out the air inside your home, workplace, and car.
- Hot showers and baths. This is another winter luxury that helps you stay clean and comfortable that contributes to why your skin gets dry during the winter. This is because the longer your skin is exposed to hot water, the more your skin is stripped of its natural, moisturizing oils.
- Heavier clothes. Geez, does everything you need to do to stay warm contribute to winter skin dryness? Unfortunately… Yes. This is especially true if your winter clothes are made of harsh materials, rather than natural fabrics.
- Exposure to harsh soaps and chemicals. Generally speaking, if something is scented, it’s more likely to be harsher on your skin. This applies to dryer sheets, hand soap, and more.
- The elements. Like many reasons why your skin gets dry during the winter, you can’t do much about this one, aside from maybe move somewhere else. Since your skin barrier is responsible for protecting your skin, when the elements are harsh, your skin barrier is thicker and stronger. Thus, it requires more moisture than normal in order to stay hydrated.
What You Can Do To Help Dry Winter Skin
Many people complain when their skin gets dry during the winter, and for good reason. It’s uncomfortable at best and downright painful at worst. Fortunately, it’s not something that you just have to grin and bear. When your skin gets dry during the winter, it needs some extra TLC, yes, but rest assured, there are things you can do to keep it moisturized.
Some of the things that you can do to help with winter skin dryness include:
- Use a humidifier. This helps to combat the fact that indoor heating dries out the air inside your home. Harvard Health Publishing recommends setting your humidifier to about 60% for optimal results.
- Moisturize right after bathing. Bathing is a necessity, and few people want to take cold showers or baths. You may shorten the showers and baths to limit your skin’s exposure to hot water. After bathing, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing, as this is less abrasive. Moisture your skin right away with a body lotion in order to help it retain moisture.
- Opt for natural fabrics. The looser and more comfortable your winter clothes, the less likely they are to irritate your skin.
- Choose products for sensitive skin. This applies to your laundry detergent, hand soap, and more. These gentler formulas are less likely to dry your skin out, so you can find relief from winter skin dryness.
- Adjust your skincare routine. There’s not much you can do about the elements, but you can listen to your skin’s altered needs and adjust its care accordingly. Many people need to switch to a thicker, heavier moisturizer during the winter months and be gentler with their drier skin in order to protect their skin barrier.
If you need help with knowing what to do when your skin gets dry during the winter, Intermountain Aesthetics is here to help. Schedule an appointment to go over your skin’s unique concerns, and let us help you develop a plan to keep it in good condition. Contact us today to learn more about how our experts can help you.