You could wear nothing but cashmere from head to toe. But there’s a less expensive way to address autumn’s dry-skin miseries: Maximize the moisture level in your skin. Here are five good ways to maximize your dry skin in cold weather.
Lather, rinse–and do not repeat. Hot water removes natural oils from your skin that help keep it hydrated. So those long, hot baths rob your skin of moisture, making it dry and itchy. The cure? Shower in lukewarm water for no more than 10 minutes.
Slather while damp. Moisturizers work by trapping water in your skin’s outer layers, so use creams and lotions immediately after exiting the shower. Give yourself a quick towel-dry so you’re not dripping wet and then coat yourself with moisturizer. Need industrial-strength help? Go for ointments or creams rather than lotions, which include more water than oil. (You might even dab on some baby oil or petroleum jelly.)
Spring for a humidifier. In the summertime, your skin can replenish itself by soaking up the moisture in the air. But when the mercury falls, so does the natural humidity. Add the drying effects of indoor heating, and you have trouble. Solution: When you jack up the thermostat, turn on a humidifier, as well.
Drink water. Hydrate your skin from the inside by downing at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
Switch soaps. If, despite your best efforts, you’re still plagued by the winter pricklies, switch to a milder soap (look for “moisturizing” on the label). Your choice should also be fragrance-free–it’ll be less irritating.
Certain foods can cause flare-ups of contact dermatitis, the catchall term for skin irritation and itching, reports a recent University of Louisville study. Anything related to balsam, including tomatoes, colas, chocolate, and spices such as vanilla, can cause problems. And products containing citrus may also be troublemakers. Try eliminating these foods from your diet for a month. If your condition improves, you’ll know that you’re sensitive to balsam and that you need to avoid them. (Yes, that means chocolate and vanilla. Strawberry, anyone?) If you find that you’re missing your favorite goodies, add them back one at a time and see how your body reacts.
Photo Courtesy of World of Stock | Article By Megan Othersen Gorman