Soft, Touchable Winter Skin

Posted on January 18, 2017
Woman with braided white hair

Winter can be a great time for romance.  Snowflakes, fireplace, cuddles, staying indoors; in fact, unless you’re an avid skier, romance might be your number one wintertime activity!  However, winter may not be a great time for skin. Here are some tips for maintaining soft touchable skin this winter.

When temperatures drop, so too does the humidity. Between the dry air and indoor heating, your skin is likely to suffer.  Linda Gold Stein, MD and clinical research director for the dermatology department at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital says, “Once weather starts to change, I see patients coming in complaining of dry, itchy skin.”

Humidifier

One of the most effective things you can do to combat moisture loss in to install a humidifier.  Humidity levels should be set at 45 5to 55% and the temperature to 68 degrees. It is also a good idea to seal in moisture before going outside by protecting your mouth, hands and face with a scarf and gloves.

Avoid Steamy Showers

As Stein Gold puts it, “I know it feels wonderful to stand in a really hot shower…but it can dry out the natural oils in our skin more quickly.” A quick cool cleanse will solve that problem. Keep water temperature lukewarm and try to get in and out in five minutes.  This should give you enough time to clean without moisture loss.

Avoid Drying Soaps

When it comes to soaps and cleanser free is the key.  Stein Gold recommends “a mild, fragrance free soap that moisturizes as it cleanses.”

Lock In Moisture

Showering brings moisture to the skin, but drying off immediately after strips skin of that moisture. Nanette Silverberg, MD, dermatology professor at Colombia University says, “The surface of your skin absorbs some of the water, which will be lost if you don’t seal it in.”  Stein Gold recommends towel drying, but leaving skin a bit damp and applying moisturizer to skin while it is still moist.

Look for formulas that contain ceramide for sensitive skin and lactic acid, urea, dimethicone or petroleum jelly for dry skin to seal in moisture and strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer on your face, which won’t cause breakouts or clog pores and look for an SPF of 30.

Go Soft

Avoid scrubby sponges and loofahs.  According to Silverberg, “Friction strips the skin and enhances the dryness.”  Her advice?  Go with your hands or a soft wash cloth.  They should do the trick without drying your skin.

How do you keep your skin supple in the winter?  Let us know what you do to seal in moisture and keep skin touchable.

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