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We’re in the middle of winter here in Southlake, TX, simply dreaming of the days we can be out wandering the parks in the warm spring air. During the colder weather, our skin quickly dries out and becomes irritated, but with some simple skin care tips from your dermatologist, you can still look and feel your best even when the weather isn’t.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
One of the best things you can do for your skin during winter is to moisturize, particularly if you often suffer from dry skin. Regularly applying thick moisturizers, in the form of creams and ointments, can do wonders for skin of all types. There are many different moisturizers on the market, however, so it can seem very confusing if you’ve not invested in this product type before. If you’re unsure which skin type you have or what products may be best, an appointment to discuss this with a dermatologist will help set you on the right path. While you’re waiting for your appointment, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Water-based moisturizers are great for oily skin. If you’re looking for a new moisturizer, try to select one that advertises itself as non-comedogenic. A non-comedogenic moisturizer is one that will help you to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. Your doctor will likely recommend avoiding thicker lotions as these may irritate your skin.
- Oil-based moisturizers are better for aging skin. Mature skin is naturally drier than younger skin and benefits from oil-based creams rather than water-based. A dermatologist may recommend those with a petroleum base or added antioxidants to keep aging skin looking and feeling healthier in winter. Lotions containing rosehip, hazelnut oil, or avocado may also provide relief during winter and improve overall skin texture.
- Oil-based moisturizers are also suitable for naturally dry skin. Heavier oil-based moisturizers can rejuvenate dry skin, especially if they are petroleum-based, as these are designed to prevent water from evaporating from your pores. Most often, a dermatologist will recommend heavier creams and ointments for night-time use rather than daytime. You may find that products that contain mineral oils and lanolin particularly soothing.
- The best moisturizers for sensitive skin are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free. Aloe and chamomile can soothe especially sensitive skin and are excellent ingredients to look out for.
- Use moisturizers at least once daily, whether it’s part of your morning routine or evening; regular moisturization with the right product is an essential part of winter skin care. While routine hand washing and sanitization is a daily challenge at the moment, using a moisturizing cream or oil-based cream can help to reduce flare-ups of skin conditions after you’ve done so can help to relieve dryness.
Avoid Alcohol-Based Skin Care Products
While you may want to treat yourself to the occasional mask, peel, or toner to cheer yourself up during these trying times, avoid using any with an alcohol base. These products can remove natural oils and make dry, wintry skin much worse.
Take Shorter Showers
One way to avoid drying your skin out further in winter is to take shorter showers than you might usually. While a long, hot shower can feel incredibly relaxing, standing under hot water for an overly long length of time can contribute to dry skin. You might not be aware, but hot showers, in fact, play a large role in stripping away the natural oil barriers that keep your skin moisturized. Don’t be surprised when your dermatologist recommends changing your shower routine! Long showers and baths can increase the dryness and itchiness of the skin, so it’s best to avoid them in winter if you can. Keeping the door closed to trap humidity in the bathroom while you towel dry your skin and then immediately apply your chosen moisturizer can aid rehydration.
Protect Exposed Skin While Outdoors
It may seem an odd recommendation, but wearing sunscreen on your hands, face, and any other areas of your body that are exposed while you’re outdoors is one way that you can go about preventing excessive irritation and dryness. Dry, chapped lips are also something you’re incredibly familiar with; a simple application of petroleum jelly may help lock in moisture. Wearing gloves is not just great for keeping your hands warm; they can also keep your skin from drying out. Removing wet clothing, such as gloves and socks, once you get back indoors after being out in the rain will also prevent dry skin on your hands and feet from becoming unnecessarily worse.
Add Gentle Cleansers To Your Arsenal
Harsh facial cleansers, exfoliators, and peels can have the opposite effect that you want. In winter, they can dry out and even irritate your skin. Fragrance-free and soap-free cleansing choices can be used to heal your skin in winter, particularly in the cold, harsh winters we often experience here in Southlake, TX. Even the regular use of hand soap can cause unwanted effects; pick a soap designed for more sensitive occasions to avoid unnecessary winter damage.
If you’ve previously been diagnosed with skin conditions like eczema, it’s vitally important that you stick to the gentle skin cleansing routine and moisture-retentive skin care routine that your dermatologist recommends. Where possible, your dermatologist will recommend transitioning your skin care routine to one that lends itself to benefitting your skin in winter. Still, it’s never too late to make the right changes to your regimen.
Your dermatologist can develop personalized skincare routines for you. Request an appointment online at Compassion Dermatology to be put in contact with someone who can help you create a routine that works for you throughout the winter and beyond. Compassion Dermatology offers complete skin evaluations, even looking at your hair and nails and how you can improve on any concerns that you have. Moles, pigment changes, growths, and inflammations, as well as your skin condition, can all be assessed by your dermatologist before a plan is formulated.