It’s that inevitable time of year then the leaves start to change color, the temperature begins to fall, and the air, along with our skin, becomes drier.
Most of us wish that summer could last forever, but unfortunately, in most parts of the country, that’s not reality. Season’s change and with the colder/drier weather comes a lack of humidity in the air which can wreak havoc on our skin if we don’t protect it.
In order to maintain the smoothest, healthiest skin possible, it’s important that we do all that we can to protect it when the weather starts to change. And since that change is coming up quickly, we’ve put together 5 tips that can help you maintain better skin this winter.
These tips will not only keep your skin hydrated, soft, and smooth, but it will also help prevent damage that the cold weather can cause.
How to Maintain Healthy Skin this Winter
1. Use Moisturizer
This is probably the most obvious way to protect your skin and prevent it from getting chapped, cracked or dried out. By applying moisturizing gels or creams to your face and hands you trap the moisture into your skin, preventing the air outside from drying it out.
This tip will be especially helpful this winter when it comes to your hands. Because of the COVID-19 virus still lurking it’s ugly head, we should all be washing our hands even more than normal. And the act of washing our hands with soap and water causes the natural oils to be removed from our skin, thus causing it to dry out even faster.
By ensuring that your hands are properly moisturized, you can help prevent cracked and painful skin on your hands and knuckles.
When it comes to dry skin, cracked knuckles are the worst.
2. Use a Humidifier
In addition to the air outside being extremely dry in the winter, the air coming out of your furnace is also very dry. Your home furnace will not automatically add humidity to the air unless you have a whole house humidifier setup within your HVAC system.
Many homes these days do have a humidifier built into their furnace to help maintain a steady level of humidity in the home during the winter, but the key is to make sure it’s functioning properly and set to the correct levels.
You should try to maintain a humidity level of around 40% during the winter months to help prevent static electricity and dry skin within your household. If you have a whole house humidifier, you should be able to monitor your humidity levels through your thermostat. However, if your thermostat does not have the humidity readings, you can always purchase a cheap monitor to check the humidity levels.
If you do not have a whole house humidifier, a portable one is a great idea for bedrooms and/or living spaces during the colder months. This can help prevent cracking skin, sore throats when sleeping, and reduce static electricity in the house.
Adding humidity to the air within your home when the weather is cold is a great way to help prevent your skin from drying out.
You may also want to try dialing the temperature in your home down a bit.
While this may seem counterintuitive to trying to survive in the cold weather, reducing the temperature in your home can prevent your furnace from running as often, which can help prevent dry air in your home.
3. Avoid Harsh Soaps and Cleansers
As we touched upon above, this year has seen most of us washing our hands way more than usual. And because of that you’ve probably been experiencing cracked and dry hands more than usual. It’s only going to get worse this winter. And while the amount of times we’re washing our hands is definitely a factor in the dryness, it could also be from the types of soaps and cleansers you’re using.
Finding a cleanser that doesn’t use fragrances, exfoliants, or are alcohol based can really help to retain the moisture in your hands and the rest of your body. Find a soap that includes a moisturizer for the best results. And when taking a shower, don’t spend a lot of time washing your arms, legs or body, you’ll just dry them out unnecessarily as they don’t get as dirty as other areas. Instead, focus on the folds and creases of your skin – armpits, neck, feet, etc.
4. Ditch the Hand Sanitizer
I know this goes against everything that we’ve been told over the last few months in regards to keeping our hands clean to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the alcohol in the hand sanitizers will dry your hands out quickly.
It’s still ok to use hand sanitizer in a pinch to make sure that you’re not spreading germs, but maybe also carry a small bottle of moisturizer so that you can properly moisturize right after using the hand sanitizer.
The best way to maintain moisture in your skin, and prevent the spread of germs, would be to make sure you’re washing your hands thoroughly after touching things, or before touching your face.
We want everyone to stay healthy this fall/winter, but if you already suffer from dry skin, then the hand sanitizer, or alcohol-based cleansers, could be the culprit.
5. Visit a Specialist
If nothing you seem to do helps your skin get any better, then it may be time to visit a skincare specialist that can help get you on a proper skincare regimen.
At the AYA Medical Spa in Dallas, TX we can perform a full skin analysis which will help us recommend a skin treatment based on your skin’s specific needs.
Our treatments range from skin resurfacing to a variety of medical-grade skincare products that we can prescribe to rejuvenate and protect your skin from further harm.
Dry skin can be extremely painful during the winter months. These 5 tips listed above will help prevent drying and cracking of your skin and help maintain the healthy glow that you’re used to during the warmer months.
If these tips don’t seem to help, and you feel that your skin issues may be related to something other than just the dry weather, make sure to give your doctor a call to discuss further options.