It's not your imagination—about 10 percent of the population suffers from dry, itchy skin in winter. In fact, this issue is so prevalent that some meteorologists are adding a "Dry, Itchy Skin Index" to their weather forecasts, similar to their pollen and fire hazard indexes. When temperature and humidity levels drop, you can rely on these helpful tips to enjoy smooth, silky skin no matter what the thermometer or barometer have to say.
Stay Nourished and Hydrated
Healthy skin requires proper nourishment and hydration, but people tend to consume less water and fewer vitamins during the winter months. People don't feel as thirsty in cold weather, and it’s harder to find fresh fruits and vegetables in markets. To maintain your skin’s ability to stay soft and supple, make sure you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, eat fresh, healthy foods whenever possible, and stock up on a multivitamin that is rich in vitamins A, B-complexes, C, and E, which promote healthy skin.
Avoid Hot Water and Long Showers
While long, hot showers can warm chilled fingers and toes, long exposure to excessive heat and water saps moisture from your skin. Take lukewarm showers that last less than ten minutes.
Invest in Quality Cleansers and Moisturizers
Skin on the face, lips, and eyes is more sensitive than elsewhere on the body, so it's important to buy products that are specially formulated for those specific areas. Use a special skin conditioner for your face and avoid body soap, which is too harsh for facial skin. After washing, pat your face dry (don't rub with a towel) and apply moisturizer as quickly as possible, before your skin has a chance to dry fully.
During the winter, you may discover that your normal moisturizer isn't effective in dry, cold conditions. If you add a rich night cream to your evening routine, the extra overnight moisture will reward you with soft, glowing skin in the morning.
Wear Protective Gear
Hats, scarves, and gloves aren't just fashion accessories — they also help protect your skin and face from moisture-sapping cold and wind. Don't forget the sunglasses! Sunlight ricochets off ice and snow and bounces right back up into your face and eyes. It’s just as important to wear sunscreen in winter as it is in summer. Plus, sunscreen provides additional moisture on top of your regular skin conditioner.
Exfoliate and Condition Skin More Frequently
Dry skin causes more flaking and peeling, so you might increase your weekly exfoliating treatment to two to three times per week in winter. Applying a hydrating mask once or twice per week can also help.
Know When to See a Dermatologist
If dry skin persists after you've followed all of these steps, it's time to see your dermatologist. Certain medical conditions can cause dry or patchy skin. If this is the case, over-the-counter products won't work, and you'll need a prescription-strength medication. Your doctor can advise you whether your dry skin condition is a result of cold, windy days or something more.
Combat the drying and aging effects of cold, dry weather with highly effective skin conditioners. RevitaLash Cosmetics offers skin care products that work well all year long, and are non-irritating, hypoallergenic, dermatologist reviewed and clinically tested for safety and quality. (Also offered are quality products for enhancing lashes, brows and hair.)