Dry, Winter Skin

By on Feb 8, 2016

People who live in the desert are used to low humidity and constantly dry weather. But during the winter months, even the most hardy desert dweller can be stumped by dry, irritated skin. Dry skin can lead to uncomfortable flaking, cracking, and even bleeding, which can be worse for people with psoriasis and eczema. How can you fight back against dry skin?

  • Seek a Specialist: ask an esthetician or dermatologist to look at your dry skin. If you don't see a specialist already, you can start with your primary care doctor, who can help you for the most effective skin care products.
  • Moisturize More: choose oil-based lotions, as the oil will stay on skin longer and wrap it in a protective layer. Pick non-clogging oils like avocado oil, almond oil or mineral oil. Timing is also important! Moisturize right after a shower or bath when your skin is most hydrated.
  • Sun Protection: your skin can still burn in the winter. Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the morning, focusing on the thinner skin on your face and hands.
  • Use a Humidifier: prevent your skin from drying out by hooking up a humidifier. The extra moisture is especially effective when used in your bedroom overnight. For full effect, buy several humidifiers and place them in different rooms throughout your house.
  • Don’t Strip the Good Oils: refrain from harsh facial peels and alcohol-based toners. These can strip natural oils from the skin. Cleanse your face with milder cleansers and moisturize immediately afterwards.
  • Lukewarm, Not Hot: no more super hot baths! Extreme heat can break down oil barriers in the skin, allowing moisture to escape. Try warm water for your bath with oatmeal, baking soda, or sea salt, if your skin is itchy and dry. Moisturize effectively afterwards since salt can be drying.
  • Dress Comfortably: wear soft, breathable fabrics such as cotton. Avoid wool or polyester directly against the skin as chafing can increase irritation and dryness.
  • De-Stress: researchers have found that higher stress levels prevent the body from retaining water. Use that as an excuse to take a winter break, go on vacation, meditate or do yoga!