Curing the Dry Skin Blues
As the weather gets cooler, dry and flaky skin is more present than ever. It’s easy to grab lotion to condition our face and body, but in extreme weather conditions (or if you’re habitually drier than most) extra aid is needed. “Truly dry skin is genetic and is something you can determine if you have had dry skin throughout your life, have dry skin all over your body, or become easily irritated by high foaming surfactants (shower gels, washes, and cleansers),” says Annet King, Director of Global Education Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute.
Relax, Vixens. We’ve found surefire ways to avoid irritation and replenish your skin for healthy skin day after day.
Avoid Steamy, Hot Showers
Hot water can be known to strip delicate lipids from the skin. “Take shorter warm, not hot showers and apply moisturizer while the skin is a little damp,” says Dr. Anne Chapas, a New York City-based dermatologist who is the founder and Medical Director of Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Hot water causes water to evaporate quicker than lukewarm water. Stick to lukewarm showers if your skin is dry.”
You’ve heard this a million times, but H2O is great for replenishing the water you lose when consuming caffeinated beverages. “Dehydrated skin, caused by a lack and loss of water, can affect any skin type and is a result of a number of factors—including low humidity, flying, sun, smoking, poor diet, lack of moisturizer, or even cold medications,” says King.
Switch to Heavier Creams
Changing from lighter gels and lotions to heavier creams and ointments will provide the necessary moisture to effectively hydrate your skin. “Look for products with lactic acid, shea butter and lanolin,” says Chapas. “These tend to seal water in the skin and prevent the skin from drying.” She suggests CeraVe cream ($15, drugstores.com) or DML Forte cream ($13, dermstore.com) for normal and dry skin.
Stay Away from Vaseline
Let’s face it: we’ve all been guilty of lathering on Vaseline when it’s freezing. But the petroleum-derived product can actually trap skin cells and dirt, leaving you with major breakouts. Water-based moisturizers are more suitable for oily skins with high levels of natural oil. “Vaseline will lead to an increased risk of small white bumps (millia) in oily and acne-prone skin,” says King. “It’s not recommended for use on any skin types.”
Get A Humidifier
In the wintertime, the lack of humidity in the air leaves skin dry, and indoor heating doesn't aid to the solution. Humidifiers boil water to a pure steam vapor (sometimes up to 96% bacteria free). This steam mixes with dry air in the cooling chamber to release warm, moist air into your room.