Wintertime may be a festive time to spend the holidays with family and friends, but can be taxing on your skin. The cool, dry air of winter may cause skin dryness, irritation, and itchiness, especially in people with sensitive skin. Taking care of your skin during the winter is vital to keeping your skin hydrated, healthy and feeling good. Follow these 9 skincare tips from Dr. Shanthi Colaço, MD and founder of Skinstyle Dermatology, Los Angeles, on how to take care of your skin during the winter!
#1: Try a humidifier
The drier the air, the drier your skin will be. During the winter, the air is naturally colder and drier. Trying a humidifier can help by adding moisture back into the air. When more moisture is available in the air, you can absorb some of it back into the skin, which helps to fight the dryness that comes with cold weather.
#2: Take shorter showers
Though it might be tempting to take a long hot shower in the winter, it can actually dry out your skin and strip away a lot of the skin’s oil layer! Try limiting showers to 5 to 10 minutes daily to prevent excessive moisture loss.
#3: Use lukewarm, not hot, water
Hot water can wash away many natural oils that are produced by your skin. Switching to lukewarm or warm water can help keep the natural oils on the skin and prevent more dryness from occurring.
#4: Immediately apply moisturizer
Gently patting skin dry and applying a moisturizer as soon as you step out of the shower (when the skin is still damp), can help trap moisture into the skin more effectively. Remember to apply a generous layer all over the body, especially areas more prone to dryness.
#5: Apply a thicker moisturizer
Your skin is drier in the winter than in the summer so your skin needs a more hydrating lotion in the winter. Try a thicker moisturizer or cream that can help add more moisture back into your skin to prevent dryness, cracking, and irritation. Look for ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Ceramides are a crucial component of your skin’s barrier that lock moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule that acts like a sponge for dry skin cells, holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water!
#6: Don’t scratch your skin
Dry skin can cause irritation and itchiness. If you feel the urge to scratch, try applying something cold (a bag of frozen peas works well!) to temporarily block the itch sensation. Then follow up with a thick layer of moisturizer. Itching can damage the skin and sometimes can cause infections!
#7: Try adding a serum
Hyaluronic acid serums applied on damp skin can help with dry skin and may be a good option to add into your winter skincare routine for some added moisture and protection.
#8: Moisturize throughout the day
If you notice your skin getting drier throughout the day, take a mini moisturizer with you for on-the-go reapplication.
#9: Sunscreen! Sunscreen!
When you look outside during the winter and it’s cold and gloomy, this is because clouds filter out the bright, warm sunlight. Clouds do not filter out the UV rays that cause skin cancer and premature aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you are getting up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays on a cloudy day. And snow, sand, and water reflect and intensify the potentially damaging effect of UV rays. Remember to apply a generous amount of sunscreen before you leave the house for a safe and healthy holiday season!
Remember that it’s normal for your skin to be more dry in the winter! It just needs a little extra care to stay healthy and hydrated. Follow these extra skincare tips from Dr. Colaço to keep your skin healthy and happy during this winter season!
To book an appointment at our practice, visit our practice website at www.skinstyledermatology.com to consult with Dr. Colaço and our amazing dermatology team in West Los Angeles.