Winter is a time to don your favorite warm clothing items, but it also brings an array of holiday treats and overpriced seasonal lattes. One unfortunate thing about winter is that a high percentage of people experience dry skin. The combination of colder temperatures, lower humidity levels, and heated interiors makes the skin extremely prone to dryness. While there are commercial products with synthetic ingredients that promise to keep the skin hydrated, they rarely do the trick and you end up lathering your body with chemicals in excess.
The colder months do not discriminate against skin type or complexion. In the colder temperatures, the skin restricts blood vessels to retain heat. This ultimately dries out the exterior layers of the skin, causing people to experience red, rough, or itchy skin. Fortunately for you, we have tips to help you naturally combat dry skin this winter, no matter where you live in the northern hemisphere.
Shorten Your Showers
After a long day out in the cold, few things compare to relaxing under hot running water. Dermatologists say that long showers harm the skin’s lipid layer. The combination of hot water and chemical soaps dry out the skin, which is why it is optimal to use natural, moisturizing soaps in a shower that only lasts 5-10 minutes, once a day.
Moisturize After A Shower
When you exit the shower, pat (don’t rub) yourself dry. Immediately after you do this, apply a natural moisturizer because the skin can easily lock in the moisture when it is somewhat damp. If you need a DIY, chemical-free moisturizer, click here.
Consider A Humidifier
Because lower humidity levels can dry out the skin, it can be beneficial to invest in a humidifier. You don’t have to leave it on all day; rather, it is best to leave it on at night because the skin does restorative work while you sleep. Set the humidifier at about 60%, which should work to replenish the skin’s outer layers.
Take An Oatmeal Bath
People have used oatmeal baths to moisturize the skin for thousands of years. Soaking in an oatmeal bath allows the skin to absorb the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and cleansing properties of oatmeal. Blend about one cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor or blender until you get a fine powder. Stir this into a tub of hot water and then soak in it for 15-20 minutes. We know we said to limit your shower time, but your skin needs time to absorb the hydrating properties of the oatmeal.
Eat Prebiotics And Probiotics
To prevent dry skin, it is important to stock up on ceramides, which help the skin retain moisture. Start eating prebiotic and probiotic foods, both of which work to increase the body’s natural production of ceramides. Not to mention, prebiotics and probiotics help balance the skin’s pH level and they naturally improve gut flora.