When the weather outside is frightful, the side effects it can have on your skin are so not delightful.
Icy winter winds paired with dry indoor heat can sap skin’s moisture, leaving you itchy, scaly, and uncomfortable (plus more noticeable fine lines and wrinkles). But that’s not all: Skin is your immune system’s first line of defense. And when damaged due to dehydration, you could be more prone to getting sick, says Carl Thornfeldt, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist.
A flaky epidermis and a case of the winter sniffles? No thanks! Here’s how to keep dehydrated skin at bay this winter.
Find a good moisturizer Look for one that contains ingredients that lock in moisture and repair already-dry skin, such as sunflower oil, avocado, meadowfoam, or rosa canina. We love Episencial Cheeky Salve, a thick, balmy butter you can use on baby, too. ($9, episencial.com)
Use a humidifier Winter air tends to be dry, and cranking up the heat inside can reduce humidity even more. Humidifiers add back some of the much-needed moisture, helping to create an environment that’ll quench your skin’s thirst.
Think warm, not hot We know—nothing zaps those winter chills like a long, hot bath or shower. But too-hot water temperatures coupled with drying soaps can actually make your skin feel worse. If you like it hot, limit bath or shower time to 15 minutes, max—and slather on the moisturizer after toweling off.
Drink up Cold temperatures and les activity means most of us drink less in the winter, but guzzling less H20 could make your skin feel drier and tighter. If a cold glass of water doesn’t exactly sound appealing, try herbal tea or hot water with lemon (caffeinated beverages like coffee or black tea are dehydrating).
Make friends with omega-3s Omega-3 fatty acids can help soothe dry skin symptoms (plus provide protection against sun-induced skin damage). Add a few weekly servings of fatty fish like salmon to your diet, or talk to your doctor about taking omega-3 supplements.
Cold air outdoors and dry air indoors can quickly lead to dry winter skin and irritation. Learn how to manage these culprits.