7 Tips to Prevent Dry Skin During the Winter

Dry skin is an annual problem for many during the winter season. Trying to keep your hands, feet and face hydrated during the dry months can become a time-consuming battle. If this struggle is real for you, you may benefit from reading these seven tips for how to naturally hydrate your dry skin this winter.

Avoid hot showers

To help your skin retain moisture, avoid taking long hot showers. Anne Chapas, a dermatologist in New York City, says that hot water causes the moisture in your skin to evaporate, leaving you feeling dry and itchy after each shower. Keep your showers short and comfortably warm whenever possible.

Wash your face just once a day

Washing once in the evening is often sufficient for keeping your face clean and clear during the winter. Choosing a moisturizing balm or oil that won’t strip your face is also especially crucial during the dry season.

Moisturize multiple times a day

After you shower and wash your face, apply a lotion or cream that’s thicker than what you would typically use in the summer. Dr. Chapas promises that a thicker substance will “seal moisturizing ingredients into the skin” which can help your hands and feet stay soft and smooth year-round. Moisturizing two or three times every 24 hours will also help in promoting long-term healing and rejuvenation.

Humidify your home

There are several methods you can use to help the air in your home retain moisture. Running a humidifier in your room while you sleep can help your body stay hydrated and prevent your skin from cracking. Humidifiers work to add water back into the air after it is processed by your home’s heating unit, says GH Institute engineer Rachel Rothman.

Don’t forget your lips

The skin that covers your lips is some of the thinnest on your face. Your lips are particularly susceptible to damage from the harsh winter air. To keep them moisturized and healthy, cover your lips with protective balm before going out in cold temperatures. Additionally, apply moisturizing balm or lotion to your lips every night before bed to prevent the dry air from chapping them while you’re asleep.

Limit exfoliation

While deep cleaning your face is typically recommended, dehydrated skin suffers greatly if subjected to a rough scrub or facial peel. If you find that exfoliating your skin is necessary all year long, Good Housekeeping’s Beauty Director April Franzino advises you to opt for a formula that uses lactic or fruit-based acids and circular beads which make for a gentler exfoliating process.

Avoid using toner or cleansers that contain alcohol

Astringent substances which are typically used to absorb excess oil can damage your face if your skin is already dehydrated. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, recommends that you reserve alcohol cleaners for days when your face is covered in sweat. Instead of using astringent as a toner, you can try making your own hydrating facial mist with water and a few drops of soothing essential oils.