10 ways to curb dry winter skin

10 ways to curb dry winter skin

Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash


10 ways to curb dry winter skin

There are ideal climates in which skin can flourish—and Canada’s dry, blustery winters don’t make the grade. But that doesn’t mean that we all need to walk around coated in Vaseline. Instead, follow Dr. Julia Carroll’s tips for preventing and treating dry skin.

1. Stick with warm—not hot—showers
Yes, a toasty shower or bath on a winter evening can be comforting, but it will also strip the moisture from your skin. Opt for lukewarm or cool showers. They don’t have to be icy, but avoid turning the tap so far left that your skin looks red afterwards.

2. Only cleanse certain parts of your body
It may be tempting to scrub down every inch of your skin, but Carroll insists that’s not necessary. “Focus on the underarms, private areas, face and feet,” she says. “You don’t need to wash every part of your body because that will just dry it out.” Also look for a moisturizing body wash and face cleanser, which will be gentle on the skin.

3. Moisturize when naked
It’s so easy to forget full-body moisturizer for the feet, legs, chest and neck. But if you wouldn’t skip your face cream, why would you skip the rest of your body? Before you get dressed each morning, do your full skin-care routine, head to toe. Trouble spots such as your neck, décolletage, elbows and feet will soak it in. Ideally, lotion up when your skin is still damp from the shower. You’ll lock in a bit of the water.

4. Top up that humidifier
During the wintertime, the air is deprived of humidity, so it will pull moisture from anywhere it can. The human body is 70 percent water, so that water evaporates from the skin, causing dryness. Carroll suggests using a cool-air humidifier in your home. Just make sure you change or wash the filter often, as it can harbor mould and bacteria.

5. Switch from a lotion to a cream
When fall hits, switch to a thicker cream—especially if you tend to experience a lot of dryness “If it pumps or pours, it’s not thick enough,” Carroll says.

6. Look for humectants and occlusive agents in your skin care
Choose products that have humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients will “penetrate the skin, and draw water from the environment,” says Carroll. Also ensure that your cream or lotion has an occlusive agent such as petrolatum, lanolin or dimethicone. “It will seal the skin and prevent water from evaporating,” she says.

7. Layer up
You wouldn’t walk into a storm wearing just a sweatshirt. Instead, you’d layer shirts, a jacket, long underwear, a scarf, hat and mittens for protection. The concept is the same for skin care. Use a serum before a moisturizer to help with hydration, because a serum has smaller molecules and can penetrate the skin more easily than a cream.

8. Stick with your products for at least four to six weeks
Skin-care products take time to work. Hang on to a new buy for at least four to six weeks to determine if you like it, unless you experience a reaction or irritation. And remember: the product can only work if you actually use it. “It won’t work if it’s sitting in a drawer,” says Carroll.

9. Use sun protection
UVA rays are present on Earth year-round, even in winter. “If you can see your hand in front of your face, there is enough light there that you should be wearing sunscreen,” Carroll says. Ensure that your face cream has an SPF of at least 30, or layer a separate sunscreen after all of your other skin-care steps.

10. Extend your holiday vacay
There’s nothing we can do about outdoor humidity levels and indoor heating is a necessary evil. The only true escape? A trip to a more humid climate. Book those tickets!


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10 ways to curb dry winter skin