Dealing With Dry Skin This Winter? Causes and Solutions

Don’t Let Winter Dry Out Your Skin

Read Time: 3 minutes

Though dry skin usually isn’t serious, it can be uncomfortable and frustrating. During the winter months especially, colder weather can cause skin to become dry, flaky, and possibly cracked or chapped. Being aware of the environmental factors that cause dry skin helps to prevent skin from dehydration. Incorporating a few specific habits and skin care routines has also proven to be effective in maintaining glowing, healthy skin all year round.

Dry air = dry skin

One of the most common causes of dry skin in the winter is lack of humidity. The colder air outside combined with the hot, dry air circulating indoors can dehydrate skin quickly. One quick fix is to set up a humidifier in the home. Setting the humidifier around 60% will be enough to keep skin naturally moisturized without making air too humid.

Skip the hot shower

Cold winter weather can make some people turn their showers as hot as possible. However, take care that water isn’t too hot. Showering, bathing, or even washing the face with water that is too hot can strip the skin of natural oils, making it harder to keep skin moisturized. Bathing too often or running the skin under water for too long can also contribute to dry skin. Bathe and shower in warm water, and limit showers to once per day for 5-10 minutes at a time.

As an extra tip, make sure to moisturize immediately following a warm shower. This can help to trap in moisture and prevent dry skin. Also pay attention to ingredient lists. Lotions and creams with ingredients like shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin, will all keep skin softer for longer.

Bundle up for better skin

Because wind and cold air can especially contribute to dry skin, make sure to cover up skin when outdoors during the winter months. Wear a coat, scarf, gloves, and hat. Being outdoors in the winter can also cause dry and flaky lips. To keep lips moisturized, try applying a lip balm with petroleum jelly overnight.

When should I see a doctor?

If skin is consistently dry all year, and accompanied by symptoms like itching and redness, it could be a more serious condition. People with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis are more prone to dry skin, and winter and cold air can be a trigger for breakouts of itchy, patchy, red skin. People who experience itchiness, scaly red skin, and dry skin that doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes should make an appointment with a doctor or dermatologist to rule out underlying skin conditions and find long-term solutions for relief.

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