With winter barreling its way in, you know you’re going to start getting chapped, dry skin. It’s just an inevitable part of coping with colder weather. However, you don’t have to live with dry skin all winter long. There are many steps you can take to ensure smooth, healthy, hydrated skin all season long.
- Apply the right kind of lotion: Many people make the mistake of grabbing any old lotion off the shelf, figuring it will do the trick. Not so. Be careful to choose a lotion for your exact skin type in order to get the best results. For example, if you have extra-dry skin, particularly on your upper arms, you may experience keratosis pilaris flare-ups. In that case, use a lotion that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate dead cells around the hair follicles to cut down on the appearance of bumps.
- Keep alcohol-free sanitizing gels on hand: By washing and drying hands repeatedly throughout the day, you’re introducing a wet/dry/wet/dry cycle for your skin that can really dry it out. Instead, use wipe-off soap-free cleansers, too, that can prevent chapping. For those times when you do wash your hands with soap and water, use a moisturizing soap-free cleanser or antibacterial gel, followed by a generous application of lotion afterwards.
- Use gloves when you can: Whether you must wear gloves in the healthcare field, or you’re just going to be outside for a while and want to get protection from the cold, gloves are great for keeping moisture in. The best for your skin are cotton gloves, which will seal in the moisture after applying lotion. Even doing this for one hour during the day can really make a difference.
- Use hydrating scrubs: Those are great for tough patches on the elbows and knees. But you don’t have to spend a fortune at the store. You can make your own mixture of honey and sugar. These scrubs are great for reducing inflammation and increasing skin circulation. There’s no better time for this: cold weather diverts blood flow from the skin so your core stays warm.
- Try milk: If you have dry, scaly skin, try a 12% lactic acid lotion to increase the moisture of your skin and exfoliate the dead skin cells.
- Exfoliate: By sloughing off the dead skin cells regularly, you allow your lotion to penetrate your skin more efficiently. Go gentle, such as with a product that contains polyethylene microbeads. On your feet, use a scrub or pumice stone, then slather on a thick moisturizer followed by socks. Best to do this at night before bed.
- Use Scarfade: If you suffer an injury to your skin that could result in a scar, use a product like ScarFade to reduce their appearance. This topical treatment reduces scarring on the skin, proven through medical studies time and time again. Plus, it contains a silicone micro-membrane which helps to moisturize the skin.