7 ways to combat dry skin
With the temperatures dropping and the heat cranked up inside, it’s easy for your skin to dry out during the winter months. The tight parched feeling of dry skin can be very uncomfortable. And for some people, the dryness turns into worse issues such as flaking, cracking or even eczema.
What are the best techniques to combat dry skin? Author Susan Davis offers helpful advice webmed.com.
- Select the right moisturizer – light-weight moisturizers are great for warm weather. But as it gets cold outside, oil-based moisturizers help you retain more moisture because the oil creates a protective layer on the skin. Certain oil-based products may be too heavy for some skin types, so try to experiment with different options. Avocado oil, mineral oil or almond oil are considered “non-clogging” oils that are not very greasy.
- Use mild soap and face masks – harsh soaps and face masks can pull away too much oil from your skin. A hydrating soap or mild foaming cleaner will leave your body with more moisture.
- Apply sunscreen all year round – winter sun, along with the snow glare, can be powerful enough to damage skin. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside to any area of your body that will be exposed to the elements.
- Care for your hands and feet – to protect your skin from getting irritated, avoid using wet gloves or socks for any significant amount of time. For your hands, it’s hard to keep them moisturized because they have relatively thick skin. Apply lotion regularly and wear gloves when going outside. Your feet need special care too. Occasionally exfoliate your feet to remove any dead skin and then apply lotion that has petroleum jelly or glycerin, which will help retain moisture.
- Plug in the humidifier – space heaters and central heating systems blast hot dry air causing low humidity indoors. Humidifiers add water to the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
- Avoid bathing in very hot water – really hot water can break down the lipid barriers in the skin, causing you to lose moisture. Keeping your bath short and using warm water and mild soap will help you keep moisture in your skin.
- If you can’t seem to rid your skin of its dryness, your physician or dermatologist may advise you of other products you can use.
“Taking the steps above will help you treat the issues yourself at home. If problems persist, see an esthetician or dermatologist to get a personalized plan for skin care products you should use,” he says. “Using the proper soaps and moisturizers will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin this winter.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.