Temperatures are dropping, and chances are your skin is starting to feel the changing weather. Have you ever wondered why cold weather hurts dry skin? If your skin gets tight, itchy, scaly, and prone to cracks during fall and winter, these skin care tips are for you!
Why Does Cold Weather Hurt My Skin?
Before we take a look at how to treat dry skin in cold weather, let us explain why dry skin needs extra help during fall and winter. Many people assume that summer weather is harder on skin since most people spend more time in the sun and increase their risk of sunburn, sun rash, and over-tanning. It is also assumed that the hot sun will over-dry the skin, causing dry skin to become even drier.
The opposite is true, however; while sunburn and sun tanning carry their own risks, most people with dry, sensitive skin see an improvement during summer! While prolonged sun exposure can over-dry the skin, most people don’t spend enough time in the sun for that to be a problem. Rather, higher levels of vitamin D boost the body’s overall health while mild UV ray exposure helps to clear acne and give the skin a healthy glow.
Winter is a different story, though. Dry winter skin can be painful and difficult to manage. The reason? Harsh weather, central heating, hot water, and excessive hand washing. In short, everything during winter contributes to dry skin.
- Harsh weather worsens dry skin by beating it up! Cold temperatures, high winds, rain and snow — pretty much every fall and winter weather condition is hard on dry skin.
- Central heating dries out the skin. Whether it’s in your car, office, or home, heated air can be a dry skin sufferer’s worst enemy. Plus, major temperature changes can damage the skin — like heading from the snow-covered streets into a heated office building.
- Hot water strips away the skin’s natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and tight. Since dry skin is already lacking these oils, removing what little the skin has left is absolutely disastrous. During winter, people enjoy hot water for warming up in the shower or bath, but it can wreck havoc on skin!
- Hand washing during winter is essential for staying healthy during cold and flu season, but it can also leave hands feeling cracked and dry. First, as mentioned previously, people tend to choose hot water during winter, which strips away healthy oils that keep the skin moisturized. Secondly, hand washing soaps can also strip away oils, leaving the hands unprotected and raw.
How to Treat Dry Skin During Winter
Now that you know why fall and winter are harder on dry and sensitive skin, here’s how to treat dry skin during fall and winter!
- Bathe in tepid, not hot, water. Even though the urge to take a steamy shower in the morning may feel overwhelming, the fallout with your skin is not worth it! Keep the water comfortably warm, and don’t overstay your welcome — the longer you luxuriate in the shower, the more your skin’s oils will be stripped away.If your skin is really sensitive (like crazy sensitive), it might even be worthwhile to cleanse your face without water whenever possible. Use our Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes to keep skin fresh and pure without the stripping effect of water.
- Amp up your moisture game. Use our best-selling Intensive Moisturizing Cream for the best moisturization your dry skin has ever experienced. You can use the cream on your face, as well as any part of the body that needs extra moisture, like the elbows and knees.
- Moisturize throughout the day. Keep our Moisturizing Hand Treatment in your purse or desk drawer for use after each hand washing (your hands will feel better than ever!), and spritz on Moisture Mist anytime the face or body starts feeling dry. Remoisturizing all day long will prevent skin from ever feeling extra dry.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to avoid the worst of dry winter skin.