Cold winter weather can cause your skin to become dry, itchy, and irritated. The cold outdoors can make your skin feel raw and the indoor heat robs your skin of the moisture it needs. Even taking a hot shower to warm up dries out your skin, stripping it of its natural oils. Here are some simple tricks to keep your skin healthy in the winter:
It can be tempting to take long, hot showers after being out in the cold, but your skin will benefit much more from a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower or bath. Avoid using hot water when you wash your hands. A rule of thumb is that if the water turns your skin red, it is too hot. The CDC states that washing your hands in cooler water appears just as effective at removing germs as warm water and irritates the skin less. If you are using an air hand-dryer, only use it until your hands are damp rather than completely dry.
Itchy, dry skin can be worsened by using the wrong soap. Your typical bar soap may contain irritating ingredients and fragrances, so consider using a fragrance-free moisturizing cleanser. Look for products that are specifically labeled “fragrance-free,” as products that are advertised as unscented may actually contain fragrances.
Use cream-based cleansers in the wintertime. Use toners and astringents sparingly, as many astringents contain alcohol that can dry out your skin even more. The AAD recommends stopping the use of products that contain alcohol and fragrances to help your skin retain natural oils. Use a richer moisturizer on your face at night and heal dry, cracked lips with moisturizing lip balms.
Yes, you read that right. You still need sunscreen in the winter. On bright days, snow reflects the sun’s rays up to 80%. The sun’s rays can still cause damage to your skin even on darker days. Apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Moisturize after showering and washing your hands to keep your skin healthy. It is best to use a cream or ointment in the winter rather than lotions. Apply hand cream after washing your hands.
For the past three decades, Premier Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has been Delaware’s practice of choice in skin and aesthetic services. Our goal is to address all of your skincare needs under one roof by integrating medical, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic expertise with the highest standards of care and compassion. We are able to provide a comprehensive approach utilizing our different but complementary training backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, to achieve premier results. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians work collaboratively to integrate treatment plans that help you look and feel your best. Contact us today!