3 Underappreciated Ways to Combat Dry Skin This Winter

There’s nothing worse than dry, itchy skin. Dry skin can happen any time during the year, but is most prevalent in winter (hence the term, “winter itch”). Find out why your skin tends to be dry in winter and how to solve dry hands, feet, body, face and lips year-round.

Why Do I Suffer From Dry Skin in the Winter?

In winter, low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds deplete skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps the skin from drying out. The dry air from furnaces and other heating sources also suck the moisture out of skin. To keep skin soft and supple, your goal is not to add moisture to skin, but to keep moisture in. These 3 tips show you how to do this.

Dry Skin Tip #1: Keep Water Lukewarm, Not Hot

Hot water robs skin of moisture causing dry skin, so it’s best to shower in lukewarm water. If you can’t bear this rule — I can’t — try to keep your showers short and try showering only once per day. This also means skipping hot tubs (another rule I simply cannot bear). The hot, hot temperature, combined with drying chemicals, is torture on dry skin.

The same rule applies to hand-washing: Wash hands in lukewarm, never hot, water (this is a rule I firmly abide by). If your skin turns red, the water is simply too hot.

Dry Skin Tip #2: Moisturize After Showers or Hand Washing

Your skin will tell you when it’s dry. If your skin feels tight and taut, it’s time to add moisture.

Moisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. For best effect, pat skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel before applying lotions or oils.

If you choose body oils over lotions, towel off the excess oils before you slip into clothes or between sheets.

Dry Skin Tip #3: Exfoliate on a Weekly or Semi-Weekly Basis

Moisturizer is much more effective on properly exfoliated skin. Use a salt or sugar scrub in the shower and exfoliate your face with a mild scrub made for the face at least once a week.

Here’s a tip I use during the winter months: Apply extra virgin coconut oil on your freshly cleansed face. Use a warm, wet washcloth to massage the oil into the skin. This works to exfoliate and moisturize. You can also use this method on your body. Add sugar or salt to the oil to make your own scrub.

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