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Although Southlake, TX, is known for mild winters, that doesn’t mean that your skin won’t suffer from colder, dry air. Even without the “snowmageddon”, we experienced last year, winter weather is still harsh for your face, hands, and entire body.
Dry, cold winter temperatures can make your skin red, itchy, and irritated. Improve the condition of dry winter skin with help from your local dermatologist. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for healthy skin during the wintertime. And don’t forget, if you have dehydrated skin, breakouts, or any other skin concerns, visit Compassion Dermatology personalized skincare.
Use a Humidifier To Increase Moisture In the Air
Winter air is drier than humid summer air. Using a humidifier in your house or office adds moisture to the atmosphere, keeping your skin more hydrated. Purchase a few humidifiers and place them in the rooms you use most, including your bedroom and workspace.
Don’t Crank Up the Heat
It’s tempting to jack up the thermostat on a cold Southlake, TX, winter night, but be careful how high you set your furnace. Your dermatologist will warn you that the central air in your home can make the air drier, which dries out your skin. Instead, keep the indoor setting between 68°F to 72°F for healthier skin.
Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
It may feel great to jump into a long, steamy shower first thing on a cold winter morning, but your skin will appreciate lukewarm water much more. In fact, yours may suggest always taking cooler showers, especially if you have dry skin.
The same goes for washing your hands – if your hands are red afterward, the water is too hot. Cooler water and soap are just as effective as hot water for removing germs and dirt. And, if you use a hot-air hand dryer in the restroom, make sure that your hands are damp, not completely dry.
Use Fragrance-Free, Gentle Facial Cleansers
Any dermatologist will tell you to use the right kind of soap for your skin type. In fact, you may need to change your skincare regimen in the wintertime. Fragrance-free, gentle cleansers are always a safe bet for any skin type. Regular bar soaps may contain fragrances and ingredients that irritate the skin. Instead, opt for a fragrance-free moisturizing gel or cleanser.
Make sure to read the labels carefully and look for fragrance-free, not unscented. Unscented products may actually contain fragrances!
Opt For Season-Specific Skin Care Routines
Some of the cleansers you use in the summertime may be too harsh for more sensitive winter skin. Likewise, your regular moisturizer might not be enough to combat winter skin dryness. Choose cream-based cleansers, and use astringents and toners sparingly.
Astringents contain alcohol, which dries out the skin. When you’re applying these to skin that’s already itchy and dry, you’ll end up compounding the problems. Instead, follow your doctor’s recommendation to use fragrance and alcohol-free products to help your skin retain its natural oils. In addition, use a richer moisturizer on your face at night.
Don’t neglect your lips! Use petroleum jelly or another ointment to help heal dry, cracked lips and avoid lip balms that contain fragrances and dyes.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize – Especially Your Hands
Creams and ointments work best for your hands. The skin on the hands is delicate and yet takes plenty of abuse throughout the day. Your dermatologist will recommend using lotions in warmer and more humid climates, but winters can be chilly and dry. With plenty of hand-washing during cold and flu season, make sure that you have creamy lotion on hand to remoisturize your hands after washing.
Never Neglect Sunscreen
Even if it’s a dreary winter day, the sun’s harmful UV rays can still cause skin damage. It’s worse on brighter winter days – any snow on the ground can reflect the sun’s rays. So when you’re out and about, enjoying a winter ski vacation, or even just spending time in downtown Southlake, make sure that you make applying sunscreen part of your morning skincare ritual.
Before venturing outside, be sure to apply a moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen on all exposed areas of your body. Look for at least SPF 15 or higher if yours recommends that.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Winter is normally sweater weather locally but some of the fluffy, warm sweaters can be made from materials that aggravate dry winter skin. Wool and other rough materials may look cute, but they can be itchy, making dry skin red and irritated. Plus, some people may have a mild wool allergy, which further aggravates sensitive skin.
Instead, opt for light layers of soft, breathable materials, especially against the skin, then don the heavier sweaters and sweatshirts. Don’t forget to protect your hands from the cold, too, with warm gloves or mittens lined with soft materials. Look for cotton or silk glove liners if your favorite woolen mittens don’t have liners.
Eat Right and Drink Plenty of Water
This advice is probably a favorite of every dermatologist. A healthy diet and plenty of water naturally nourish your complexion. Plus, the more water you drink, the more hydrated your skin is. If you have dehydrated skin, ask your dermatologist about supplements that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil.
Don’t Stay In Wet Clothes
It may be fun to spend time in the small amount of snow we usually get, but be sure to change out of your wet clothes as soon as possible. Damp clothing can irritate your skin.
Work With Your Southlake, TX, Dermatologist
If these tips don’t help reduce the redness, dryness, and itching of your skin in the wintertime, then you may need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. The team at Compassion Dermatology can help with generally dry, itchy skin concerns, as well as more severe skin conditions. If your psoriasis or eczema worsens in the winter, a dermatologist can help. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!