If your skin gets dry, itchy, and rough during the winter, you're not alone. Cold air holds less moisture so humidity levels drop and the little bit of moisture that does enter your home is evaporated by the furnace. Fortunately, you don't have to become a scaly lizard creature for the next several months (unless you want to. No judgement.) To help, we're sharing some simple tips on how to prevent dry skin so you can look and feel your best during the winter months.
Take Warm Showers (Not Hot)
Hot water may feel amazing, but it's not amazing for your skin as it strips all the natural oils away. Instead, if you want baby-soft skin, one of the first things you need to do is shower or bathe in the same temperature of water you would use for a baby - warm enough to be comfortable, but not hot enough to harm your skin.
If you're cringing at this, I get it. I loooooove a hot shower. I usually emerge after 20 minutes looking like a lobster and unable to see through all the steam. Then I wonder why my eczema flares up and I could grate cheese on my elbows.
Use Lotion or Moisturizer
Lotion (or creams, moisturizer, etc) work by emulsifying water with oils creating a substance that hydrates your skin while forming a protective layer over it. For most of your body - legs, arms, etc, applying a moisturizer after you shower or bathe is probably fine, but the more exposed areas will need extra attention.
- Hands - Apply lotion after you wash them;
- Face - Use lotion with SPF in the morning then again if you wash your face and use toner at night;
- Feet - Apply a rich cream and wear socks for extra dry, rough feet;
Moisturize Before You Dry Off
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying moisturizer right after you get out of the bath or shower, when your skin is more porous and absorbent. Reach for your favorite body lotion or, for more intensive moisturizing, a body butter, before you reach for your towel, and your skin will feel much softer and more hydrated than if you wait to apply lotion after you've dried off. Just make sure you gently pat dry with your towel rather than rub so you don't remove all the lotion you just applied.
Tend to forget to put on lotion until after you're dressed (or is this just me?) - Either keep a bottle of lotion in the shower with you or even use a Tulip Tree conditioner bar as an in-shower moisturizer - just rub it between your hands and massage into your skin after you've turned off the water but before stepping out.
Switch to More Mild Products (Both Skin and Household)
What works for you in the humid summer months may not be right for you in the winter. Swap out a thin lotion for a rich cream. Trade a face soap for oily skin for a more mild option. You may even find if your skin is more sensitive than usual, switching to natural, unscented soap, lotion, and other items may be helpful.
It may not just be your bath and beauty products that are irritating your skin. Your laundry detergent, fabric softener, and other household items may be adding to the itch factor. Replacing a harsh detergent and scented fabric softener with unscented, mild products (and maybe going for those neat dryer balls instead of dryer sheets) may be right for you.
Avoid Sitting Near Fireplaces and Heaters
Sitting next to a roaring fire at home or keeping a space heater under your desk at work feels great at the time, but again, we're trying to avoid removing natural moisture. Not only do these heat sources evaporate moisture from the air, but they also dry out your skin. Keep a few feet away from the heat source, and wrap up in a blanket instead.
Shop Our Favorite Dry-Skin Savers
Need the perfect products to prevent dry skin and keep it healthy and happy all winter long? We've got you covered with head to toe skin hydration.
- Light and Luxurious Lotion - With sunflower and avocado oils plus rich emollients, this absorbs quickly to protect your skin without leaving it feeling greasy.
- Hand & Body Buttercream Moisturizer - Perfect for extra-dry skin, mango butter, vitamin E, deep conditioners, and soothing apricot oil will penetrate and protect your skin.
- Exfoliating Sugar Scrub - Make sure your lotion or body butter can get deep by exfoliating the old skin cells and leaving you perfectly polished. Plus, anti-oxidant rich rice bran and sunflower oils add lightweight moisture.
- Unscented Soap - I LOVE all the scents and fragrances of our soaps, buuuut, if you're worried about sensitivity, our unscented, all natural bar may be just what you need!
- Oatmeal Milk & Honey Face Soap - With cleansing sea salt that binds moisture to the skin, soothing oats, nourishing milk and honey, and jojoba oils, this is mild enough for sensitive skin and can even be used for a gentle all over clean!
- Lip Care Kit - WIth a lip scrub to exfoliate dry skin and our Natural Nourishment Lip Balm to moisturize and protect, your can avoid chapped lips this winter.