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How To Prevent Dry Skin In Cold Weather

Guest Post

It’s December, which means that many of us that celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah are busy decking out our homes with trees, menorahs, garlands, and all the lights we can find!

And as we are enjoying this season, the last thing we need is dry skin. Many of us that live in highly seasonal climates (cough…Midwest…cough) will experience dry skin without even trying, but all of us are more susceptible to dryer skin, flakiness, eczema, and irritation this time of year.


Here are some reasons why, and tips for avoiding extra seasonal dryness.

DRYING CULPRIT 1: HEATERS AND LESS HUMIDITY

When the heat comes on and the windows close, we lose a lot of humidity in the air, thus sucking more water out of the skin. If you have a built-in humidifier, it’s time to turn it up or grab yourself a portable humidifier to put in your home to keep moisture in the air. If you only have one, put it in your bedroom so your skin has moisture as you sleep.


DRYING CULPRIT 2: CLEANING PRODUCTS/SANITIZERS/MORE HAND WASHING

This season is notorious for being “flu season” and “cold season,” but now it’s even more elevated due to more COVID-19 variants roaming around. That means many of us are doing extra cleaning, hand-washing, sanitizing, and more.


And since most cleaners strip the essential oils and water from our skin (because they are doing their job of cleaning), you may notice your skin feeling and looking a little extra rough.


The best thing to do is keep moisturizers and hand lotions around whenever you are using cleaning products. And remember the best way to re-moisturize the skin is by using a hydrating lotion and/or moisturizer before you go to bed.


DRYING CULPRIT 3: STRESS

Let’s face it, it’s a magical time of year, but it is also a pretty stressful time of year. And yes, stress exacerbates trans-epidermal water loss—aka the speed at which water leaves our skin. Extra stress can also lead to lost sleep, and anxious behaviors like drinking and smoking, which also negatively impact the skin. It is best to pay a little extra attention to your stress levels and talk to your higher power about taking some of the burdens away.


DRYING CULPRIT 4: MORE FRAGRANCE, MORE MAKEUP, MORE GLAM

During the holidays we tend to up our hair, makeup, and general beauty routines. We have parties, work festivities, and more that make us want to glow up a bit. But it can be a drying and irritating time if our skin and hair aren’t used to it. Here are my tips for ensuring hair, body, and face skin stay hydrated during your glowup.


HAIR: Make sure you’re using a priming leave-in conditioner or conditioning spray before blow drying and styling your hair. Also, try to prolong your washes every 2-3 days to ensure you’re not stripping too much oil from the scalp and hair follicles. I like this one from Pantene and this one from Bumble & Bumble.

BODY: My favorite thing is a good scented body wash. I am obsessed with the Molton Brown body washes—especially this one during the holiday season. But sometimes gel-based cleansers can be drying on the skin. That is why I like to “cocktail” my Molton Brown with an ultra-hydrated body wash to ensure I don’t dry out. I’ll do a squirt of Molton Brown on my loofah, along with a bit squirt of my favorite Dove hydrated cream wash as well.


Related articles: Fruits for Hair Growth


This way I can enjoy my favorite holiday scents while still soothing my body skin. Also, it is VERY important to moisturize upon getting out of your shower or bath. Find whatever moisturizer you will use consistently. For me, I need to have a pump moisturizer right on my bathroom counter so I use it - otherwise, it won’t happen :/. Who can relate?


FACE: If you’re not used to wearing a lot of makeup, your skin may revolt a bit if you start wearing it consistently. Most of us have gone makeup-less for the whole pandemic, so it may take some adjustment if you are starting up again.


The best tip I have is to always cleanse and hydrate before applying any makeup. This ensures makeup has a clean palette to work on. Makeup will never look good on the skin if the skin is dehydrated. Also, never forget to wash off your makeup before bed. Sleeping with makeup on can ruin your eyelashes, dry out the skin, spread bacteria and make you breakout, and advance the signs of aging. No thanks.


DRYING CULPRIT 5: MASK-WEARING

For good measure, I want to end cap this with my regular reminder that PPE masks are notorious for exacerbating all skin conditions. And for winter, don’t forget that this also includes wrapping ourselves in scarves, hats, gloves, and headbands when it gets cold outside.


These items create friction, trap heat and moisture, which can cause fluctuations in skin pH, and trap bacteria. If you wear masks or winter gear, it is ideal to do a gentle cleanse and re-moisturize afterward. This will help keep problems at bay.


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