It seems no matter how much lotion we apply, the drop in temperatures still delivers dry, itchy, cracking skin year after year. We invited Dara Spearman, MD, PPG – Premier Dermatology & Skin Care, to share her secrets to softening the effects of the season. You’ll just love these four simple tips!
Winter conditions are tough on our skin because it’s so dry outside and there’s forced heat inside. This makes our skin get dehydrated because it loses its natural moisture. Try these four changes for a smoother season:
1. Take lukewarm showers, and shorten them up a bit. Not everybody wants to do this, but shorter showers, less than 10 minutes, can be beneficial. Lukewarm water is best, as hot water is terrible for the skin. Not sure if it’s too hot? When your body is beat red, that’s a sign you need to turn down the temp.
2. Apply a generous amount of cream. After you shower, pat, rather than rub, your skin dry and apply a good moisturizing cream immediately, while you’re still damp. You want a cream you have to scoop out of jar. If it comes out of a pump, it’s as much as 90 percent water. A cream will protect your skin all day.
3. Create a barrier. A barrier can be both a product and an article of clothing. So, using a barrier cream can be helpful in preventing cracked hands from handwashing and frigid temperatures. Try to use lukewarm water when washing hands as well and avoid too much antibacterial soap. Also, gloves, scarves and proper headwear can minimize skin’s exposure to the elements.
4. Run a humidifier. Forced heat indoors can make things almost as bad as the cold outside, so consider having a humidifier running throughout the house or in your room at night.
Chapped lips are common this time of year. Whatever you do, don’t lick them! That will make the condition worse. I recommend applying a simple petroleum jelly, as needed. If your lips become red and inflamed, see your physician.