As the cooler air of fall and winter is upon us, it is important to alter your skin care regimen. Dry, cold air, and indoor heat dry the skin and injure your skin’s protective barrier. When the humidity drops, your skin is more susceptible to cracking, itching, and flaking. To help protect and heal dry skin, follow these simple tips:
Apply a moisturizer immediately after drying off from a shower or bath. Ointments and creams are more effective than lotions by sealing existing moisture on your skin. For dry hands, apply a moisturizer immediately after each hand washing. Use an oil free facial lotion that contains sunscreen on your face daily.
Shorten your shower
Long showers and baths tend to strip your skin of its natural oils that keep it moisturized. Limit your shower or bath to 10 minutes or less and not more than once daily. Use warm water, rather than hot. Wash with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser.
Wear gloves when you go outdoors and keep hands well-moisturized.
Love your lips!
Lips are susceptible to the cold air. Apply a lip balm with sun screen prior to outdoor exposure.
Use a humidifier
Humidifiers return moisture to the air and help prevent your skin from drying.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Continue to wear a daily facial lotion with a broad spectrum sunscreen to exposed areas, such as face, neck, and hands.
If you do not see improvement of dry skin with these tips, consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist. Very dry skin may require a prescription cream or further evaluation for an underlying problem. Some skin conditions, such as psoriasis, tend to worsen with decreased sun exposure in the winter. Light therapy in a dermatologist’s office during the winter months can bring relief.
Stay warm and enjoy the season!
~ Dr. Krista Buckley