Have you noticed your skin feeling dry and flaky in the recent months? This is usually common during the winter season, since your skin loses a lot of moisture due to the dry air. Moisture is a fundamental component of skin care. Without sufficient moisture, the skin tends to develop a scaly texture that peels off easily, also known as flaky skin.
While a lot of people have dry flaky skin in winter, the skin condition isn't exclusive to this season and can occur at any time of the year. Besides a lack of moisture, the use of harsh soaps and taking frequent baths can also make your flaky skin worse. In addition, aging and pre-existing medical conditions may also contribute to having dry skin in winter.
Fortunately, there are ways to maintain smooth and moisturized skin even during the harsh winter weather. You can try one of the specialized cosmetic treatments at Beauty Med, which are aimed to keep your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated. In addition, you can also include certain skincare routines that offer extra protection in winter.
For people with dry flaky skin, check out these six best tips on how to take care of dry skin in winter:
1. Apply a moisturizer on your skin immediately after showering
After taking a shower, your skin quickly loses moisture through evaporation, leaving it dry and flaky. The itchiness you feel after a shower is your skin's way of reporting that it has lost moisture. This can get uncomfortable, often resulting in dry flaky skin on your face or your hands. In addition, dry skin intensifies fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older than you are.
Every time you wash or bathe, you should make a habit of applying a moisturizing lotion to your skin. This locks in the moisture by plugging the spaces separating the skin's cells. The moisturizer works most effectively when your skin is still damp, such as right after you take a shower or after washing your hands. The skin has more moisture when wet, which is perfect since moisturizers react exceptionally well on hydrated skin.
2. Get the right moisturizer for your skin type
The best type of moisturizer products depends on your skin. People with dry flaky skin require heavy moisturizers. To keep your dry skin hydrated, go for moisturizers with dimethicone and hyaluronic acid. Other beneficial moisturizer ingredients include proteins, urea, propylene glycol, and glycerine. To lock in moisture once it is attracted to your skin, use moisturizers with mineral oil, lanolin, and petrolatum.
Ideally, you should apply a light moisturizer during the day and a heavier one at night. It also matters which part of your body you are moisturizing. Apply a light moisturizer on your face and a heavier one on the rest of your body.
3. Don't take hot baths & showers in winter
The temperature can get quite cold in winter, so many people enjoy taking hot baths to warm up their bodies. While these hot baths or showers may feel relaxing, they are notorious for stripping essential oils off your skin. When the water temperature is too hot, you are making your skin even more vulnerable to dryness and flakiness.
If you can't bring yourself to take a cold bath, the best solution is to use lukewarm water at first and wind down with cold water. This way, you can lock in the moisture and keep the pores closed. Once you get used to the water temperature, a cooler shower is a great dry skin remedy that keeps you moisturized in winter.
4. Avoid using bath sponges
Using bath sponges, washcloths, and scrub brushes causes trauma to your skin. Ideally, you might want to give up bath sponges, or use a light feathery touch instead of rubbing them vigorously on the skin. You don't have to scrub your skin vigorously to keep it clean. Doing so only ends up hurting your dry flaky skin.
When using a towel to dry your skin, blot away the excess water or gently pat it against your skin instead of rubbing it dry. The best approach is to let your skin air-dry instead of wiping the water off. Also, remember to use a clean towel with every bath.
5. Moisturize your skin before exercising
For fitness enthusiasts, exercising is a year-round activity that doesn't stop just because it's winter. On days with good weather, you might be interested in doing some winter sports or outdoor exercises. Before you go out for a run in the park or do a few laps around the block, apply a non-comedogenic, lightweight moisturizer to protect your skin from dry air. You will minimize the after-workout dryness that is common during chilly air conditions.
6. Moisturize your skin before going to bed
Here's an interesting fact: as you sleep, your skin loses moisture. That explains the night sweating, and it gets worse if you have hot flashes. The good news is that the problem can be fixed by moisturizing before going to bed. Moisturizing before bedtime leaves your skin hydrated and soft overnight. It also helps to repair your skin barrier and locks in the moisture.
Ideally, use a heavier moisturizer than the one used during the day, which will be more effective at keeping the moisture locked in. As moisturizing becomes part of your nightly winter skin care routine, you will end up having softer and more vibrant skin on the next day.