Skin Care: Tips for Avoiding Dry Skin in Winter
Just about the same time as the leaves fall off the trees in crispy bunches, you find your skin flaking off in strange places about your body. Small, dry white lines on your hands and feet appear as winter draws a map of the harsh months to come. Xerosis – or, more simply, dry skin – can be a more unwelcome visitor than Jack Frost, but your skin doesn’t have to remain vulnerable to the cold, unruly season. There are various products and methods you can use to ensure your skin won’t become irritated at winter’s nasty bite.
The Importance of Hydration
A flower, if put in a pot and denied water, will surely dry out. Just as a plant demands water to survive, so does your skin. The outer layer of skin is actually composed of a mixture of dead skin cells floating in the oils that are naturally produced by the living skin cells underneath. This layer of skin is responsible for sealing moisture within the body, and its condition determines how smooth and pliable your skin will feel.
Without proper hydration, your outer layer of skin cannot function properly and will be all the more likely to dry out in the cold winter weather. When you add other skin-drying elements into the mix – such as hot water, overly soapy water, exposure to intense chemicals, the aging process, and anything else that strips away the natural oils produced by your skin – the outer layer can actually begin to shrink as it dries. This can cause small, white cracks to appear, thus exposing the sensitive living cells beneath to harmful germs and substances.
One way to combat dry skin is to give your body a healthy dose of water each day by showering; however, how you shower is just as important as how often.
Not too hot. Make sure you shower only once per day for at least 10 minutes in warm water – NOT hot. (Your skin is naturally supplied with its own oils and anyone who’s ever washed a greasy pan knows exactly what hot water does to the grease.)
Keep it short. Baths are all right, as long as you do not indulge and spend more than 10 or 15 minutes immersed in the water. Although it may seem like a good way to hydrate your skin, bathing can actually dry out our skin (remember that when you stay in the water too long your fingertips and toes become shriveled) and do more harm than good.
Avoid harsh soaps. Stay away from harsh body washes as well as scented or abrasive products. Instead, opt for gentle, hydrating milk or cleanser, such as Chamomile Cleansing Lotion by Peter Thomas Roth.
Pat dry. As soon as you’re done showering or bathing, pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Do not rub, as this will remove your skin’s natural oils.
Seal with lotion. It’s important at this point to seal the water in your skin to keep it from evaporating; a simple moisturizer such as oil-free lotion from the Peter Thomas Roth collection will suffice.
Throughout the day, apply additional treatments of lotions or moisturizers as needed. There are hundreds of lotions, crèmes, and products for all skin types. Here are some tips for moisturizing effectively:
Use SPF. Exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can cause dryness as well as lead to skin cancer. Include in your skincare routine the daily application of a protective moisturizer, such as Max All Day Moisture Defense Lotion with SPF30 by Peter Thomas Roth.
Keep a salve on hand. While some products are created only for certain areas of the skin, Rosebud Salve is universally handy for providing an extra moisturizing boost to particularly dry, chapped, or cracked areas of the skin. It’s a must-have in your arsenal against winter dryness. Rosebud Salve has been around for more than 100 years and can be used on the lips, face, and body alike. In addition to moisturizing, Rosebud Salve can be used instead of soapy water to safely remove makeup.
Exfoliate minimally. Take your exfoliating regimen down a notch, as this strips your outer layer of skin and contributes to winter dryness.
Cocoon your body with oils, lotions, moisturizers, and crèmes (whatever your pleasure maybe) and keep your skin as hydrated as possible. The last thing you want from winter’s cold, arid breath is a flurry of flakes that cannot be rolled into jolly snowmen.