You don’t have to suffer from a parched dermis during the winter or any other season. Use these professional tips to calm irritated, cracked skin.
You have sensitive epidermis. It might hurt. It might hurt. It’s unpleasant. It might also appear boring. What is happening? Dr. Joshua Zeichner, head of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explains that dry skin is basically epidermis with low water content. Cracks between skin cells, a loss of moisture, and in extreme instances, skin inflammation are all symptoms of disturbance of the skin barrier, according to him. Your dermis, the layer of skin that produces oil, may ultimately become dry for a number of causes. According to Dr. Zeichner, this can be due to genetics, a chilly, dry environment (like in the autumn and winter), excessive cleaning, or the use of harsh skin-care chemicals. It’s simpler to deal with some of those issues than others. Therefore, even though you can’t change your DNA, you can modify your skin-care regimen and adopt healthy living practices for skin that is well-nourished.
Here are some tips for keeping epidermis moisturized this season (or any time of year).
1. Keep an Eye on the Clock When You Shower
On a cold day, there is almost nothing better than a steamy shower. But according to Zeichner, epidermis does not adore it. He says that prolonged contact to water, particularly hot water, can remove important oils from the skin that help to maintain the skin’s protective barrier. Best to maintain your shower at a lukewarm temperature (he compares this to the temperature of a hot pool in the summer) and exit after 10 minutes to dry off with a cloth. It is best to keep your shower at a lukewarm temperature (he equates this to the heat of a summer swimming pool) and get out after 10 minutes to rinse off with a towel.
2. Make a Switch to a Gentle Liquid Soap
Your entire body should heed this guidance because poor skin can affect you from head to toe. Although you might enjoy feeling spotless clean, using a liquid antibacterial body wash or cleaner is going to be too abrasive. These “drain the skin of lipids (natural fats) and start to compromise its water-binding barrier,” says Stacie Clark, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Pinnacle Skin in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Use a mild liquid detergent on your body, but only in sweaty places like your underarm, crotch, and butt, the expert advises.
3. Ensure Your Moisturizer Is Working for Your Skin
Even if you purchase the best moisturizer available, you might not reap its complete advantages. “Products are not assimilated as well when applied to dry skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Lauren Fine of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology (@drlaurenfine). That suggests that you might not be benefiting fully from your topicals or that dryness may persist despite a vigilant moisturizing practice. “Adding a hyaluronic acid product to your regimen can keep skin better moisturized, especially for dry skin or during the winter,” she advises.
4. Stay Hydrated, But Don’t Expect Drinking Water to Affect Your Skin’s Appearance
To meet the guidelines of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, it is advisable to maintain hydration by consuming water and foods rich in water (such as fruits and vegetables). According to the organization, a decent rule of thumb is to consume 1/2 oz to 1 oz of water per pound of body weight each day. However, there is no limit when it comes to skin, and drinking water won’t assist. But when it comes to epidermis, there are no boundaries, and consuming water won’t help. According to Zeichner, it is a misconception that you need to consume eight glasses of water per day to keep your face hydrated. If you remain thirsty while doing it, it might only be helpful. According to a study published in Skin Research and Technology in August 2018, people who drink little water may notice that drinking more water marginally increases their skin’s hydration.
5. Keep Wearing an SPF, Even When You’re Bundled Up
Even though the weather is cooler, the sun can still damage your epidermis. “Sun-damaged epidermis is less wholesome. I’ve never encountered a patient with sun injury who didn’t gripe about feeling dry, claims Fine. According to Fine, I’ve never seen a patient with UV damage who didn’t complain about feeling parched. Because of this, you should put on a moisturizer or sunblock with at least SPF 30 every morning before you leave the home.
6. Check the Humidity Inside Your Home
Low humidity found in the warm, interior air brought in by heating systems will rob your epidermis of hydration. Even though your home’s HVAC system may already have a humidifier connected to it, Dr. Clark advises operating a portable humidifier in your bedroom while you slumber. She adds that anecdotally, patients find this relaxing for their skin. “In-room humidifiers directly release vapor into the air, bringing an additional quantity of wetness into your room while you’re asleep at night,” she says.
7. Tweak Your Skin-Care Routine With Your Dermatologist’s Help
According to Clark, retinoids are vitamin A compounds that increase collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and creases. However, many patients report that they also experience adverse effects like dryness and peeling. Winter months may make those issues worse. Make the following changes to your regimen if your prescription retinoid is producing these adverse effects: Only apply a pea-sized quantity every other night. Apply your lotion on top, or you might think about hydrating first and then using the retinoid. You might want to switch to an over-the-counter, weaker form known as a retinoid, she advises, if those things don’t work. Speaking to your physician can help you with this issue because it can be difficult to resolve on your own. They can work with you to develop a strategy to keep your skin appearing young and hydrated at any age during your subsequent visit.