Ah, yes, winter! The time to look at beautiful white snow falling from the sky. Children outside making snow angels and having snowball fights. The wafting aroma of nutmeg in the air. Christmas decor lighting up the town. Skin drier than the Sahara.
Hold up. What?
That's right. Winter is coming, folks. As you can tell from my recollection of memories related to winter, I am super excited, too. Except for that last part — no thanks to dry and flaking skin, please!
I bet you hate that feeling, too, right? Well, you have come to the right place then. No more shall we suffer the winter keeping our skin from drying up.
Read on how to clean, treat, moisturize, and hydrate your dry skin so you can soothe and keep it supple and smooth — not only this winter but all year round.
A word that all of us with dry skin are all too familiar with is moisturize. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and, did I say it enough? Moisturize!
While this is something we have been advised, since this is the "backbone" of having smooth and moist skin, there are a few other things you can do to improve the health and appearance of your dry skin. Good news for us since we need all the help we can get to survive winter, and all those times in the rest of the year where our skin just doesn't seem to want to cooperate.
Whether your dry skin is genetic or you've got some bad habits you need to let go of, I've put together 5 of my favorite dry skin remedies to help you get hydrated and smooth skin.
Let's have a look!
1. Ban Steamy Showers
I am sorry to break your heart. Hot water is pretty much all I want after a long day, especially in the winter. It feels so relaxing, like washing your troubles away. But (I know, why must there always be a but? Ugh.)—those showers are not the best idea if you ask your skin.
A long steamy shower strips your face of its natural oils, which dramatically decreases the amount of moisture that stays in your skin. Regardless of the amount and quality of moisturizer you slather unto yourself, you can't ensure your skin's healthy level of moisture if the natural oil barrier is stripped.
So swap the hot showers with warm ones and don't stay under too long. After that nice warm shower, gently pat dry your skin and top it off with your favorite moisturizer.
2. Avoid Highly Alkaline Cleansers / Bar soaps
As satisfying it is to use creamy foams for cleansing, you should know that your skin often pays an expensive bill for this foam.
Foaming cleansers usually contain sulfates, artificial fragrances, and other harmful substances for your skin. Those ingredients are responsible for your skin feeling squeaky clean — a.k.a. stripped of all the natural oils keeping your skin from drying up.
Another reason why foaming cleansers are not suitable for dry skin care is their highly alkaline pH. The pH scale is from 0 to 14. Anything above 7 is alkaline, and anything below 7 is acidic. A pH of 7.0 is neutral.
Healthy skin is slightly acidic, varying between 4.5 and 6.5. This acid forms a protective oil barrier, keeping the skin moisturized and healthy. Bar soaps and foaming soaps usually have highly alkaline pH. Applying them strips your natural skin oils and leave you unprotected from bacteria.
It's better to use a cleanser that is pH-balanced or even better — make your own. Be sure to check my DIY facial cleanser recipe.
This must be obvious, isn't it? But so easy to neglect or forget. Water is so accessible for us that sometimes we let it sit in a corner waiting to be chugged all day, while we grab flavored drinks to pseudo-quench our thirsts.
Yes, you heard it right! Sipping on coffee all day long does NOT count for hydration. In fact, coffee is a diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose fluids.
But wait, you can still have a shot of your favorite wine or tequila, right? Yes, but just be aware that alcohol is dehydrating your skin in every way possible. So, keep it on the low.
All in all, adult beverages seem to be disrupting your skin health. I am sorry again for being such a party pooper. I just want what's best for our dry skin!
Don't worry, though. All these don't mean you need to give up coffee or your delicious red wine. Just make sure that for each cup of coffee (keep those cups to no more than 2 a day) or glass of wine, you get yourself an extra glass of water.
Besides this, be sure you drink a minimum of at least eight glasses of water a day. For a more exact amount, an average of 2 liters is recommended for adults to be fully hydrated throughout the day. All these are to ensure your skin is hydrated from the inside out.
4. Don't Forget SPF
Think of the sun as something that is always there, regardless of whether you see it or not. It's that constant thing in your life. Friends may go, and lovers may leave, but the sun? Nope, the sun is there for good — well, until it explodes into a supernova, ceasing any life left then. Um, sorry for that grim note.
Anywho, my point is that even on a cloudy, rainy day, UVA rays penetrate the clouds and reach your beautiful skin. And between the two types of rays, you definitely do not want to mess with UVA.
UVA rays are responsible for damaging all the goodness underneath our skin. So, while UVB tans the skin and burns the outside layer when exposed to too much sun, UVA damages the tissues and collagen responsible for making our skin look youthful.
So, sun damage is something you don't want to have. It does not just leave you with irritated skin and dry patches, but it also creates those chaotic, evil free radicals responsible for skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Meaning this protects you from both UVB and UVA. Check my post on how to find the best SPF for you here.
5. Get Yourself A Humidifier
Never heard of this smart machine? If you suffer from dry skin, this can be a game-changer for you.
Heating your house is the obvious thing to do in winter. Who wants to go home in the cold as ice house when outside is just like that?
It feels so lovely to come home to a cozy warm house. Unfortunately, this can be pretty dangerous for your skin. Heating your house keeps you warm, but it also removes moisture from the air. This makes the already dry skin even more irritated and flaky.
To replenish that missing moisture in your bedroom, you can get yourself a humidifier. There are exceptional inexpensive good-quality brands out there. So, you'll still have the warmth you need in winter and also the moisture you need to keep your skin happy. Place one of those in your bedrooms, and your skin will thank you for it.
Having dry skin can be such a pain, especially when winter rolls around. It's hard to enjoy the holiday festivities and outdoor snowy fun when your skin just doesn't want to cooperate.
Lucky for us, there are tons of ways we can keep our skin happy — this winter and all year round! So, you can enjoy all the activities in life without having to worry about your skin pruning up.
Do you suffer from dry skin? Share with us how you treat and soothe it in the comments below.
I hope you found the post helpful. Thank you for reading my blog, I genuinely appreciate it.
Stay tuned and take skin care
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