Dry Skin In Winter
Dry skin patches or overall dry skin that occurs during the winter months is a typical seasonal issue. It can result from many factors beyond the weather. Including your bathing routine, skin care routine, age, diet, and soap choices, to name a few.
If you are experiencing dry skin, addressing the triggers will allow you to make changes. These changes can soothe and renew your skin’s natural barrier protection. Because untreated and severely dry skin can develop into more serious conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. These skin conditions can create very uncomfortable inflamed, itchy, and cracked skin — making you vulnerable to infections.
The skin’s barrier protection is your body’s first line of defense against pathogens that can affect your skin and overall health. Part of this natural barrier protection is a healthy skin microbiome. The microbiome helps maintain moisture levels and protect the skin and body from pathogens and irritants that can affect your skin and overall health.
The good news is that there are many natural approaches to soothe and care for your dry skin during the winter. Here’s a look at the causes of severely dry winter skin, and then steps you can take to help soothe, nourish and care for your skin naturally.
Winter Causes Of Dry Skin
Here are the common winter triggers behind your dry skin:
Cold Weather: Skin tends to be driest in the winter when temperatures and humidity levels plummet, and stormy winds blow. This combination creates arid air that draws moisture away from the surface and dehydrates your skin.
Bathing Habits: Showering in very hot water during cold winter months dries and can even damage your skin’s surface. Additionally, enjoying a long shower can be a part of the problem because a long shower (or bath) and hot water will strip natural oils from your skin, disrupting your skin’s barrier protection. Even the way you dry off can add to the problem. Rough towel drying can irritate skin and over-exfoliate.
Indoor Heating: All forms of heating, including space heaters, fireplaces, central heating, and wood-burning stoves, will reduce the humidity in the surrounding air. Lower humidity levels will cause the water in your skin to evaporate more quickly, leaving it dry.
Harsh Soaps (and Detergents): Many popular soaps are formulated to remove oils from your skin aggressively. Most regular detergents aim to rid clothes of sweat, oils, and stains while adding a lasting fresh scent. Soaps (and detergents) can contain harsh irritants, fragrances, a high pH, or chemicals. All of which can be harmful to the skin’s protective barrier, moisture levels, and microbiome.
Dehydration: You may not be as thirsty as you would be during the hot summer months, but you lose water through your skin just the same. Especially if you spend much of your time indoors with the heat cranked up. Your body is over 70% water. If you aren’t drinking enough water, your skin may become dry, flaky, dull, wrinkled, and sag.
Poor Diet: Nutrition is vital for your health and your skin. An unhealthy diet or a diet deficient in essential nutrients and building blocks, such as fatty acids, can leave your body deficient in the components it needs to maintain healthy cells and proper body functions.
Caring For Dry Skin
Here are a few ways to soothe, nourish and care for your irritated, itchy skin naturally:
Humidify Home: Spending much of your time in dry indoor air or, if you live in an arid area, can dry out your skin. A humidifier can help increase the moisture to an optimal level of 40-50% humidity. Also, be sure to use the humidifier at night to diffuse cool moisture to your skin during the long night hours.
Gently Cleanse: A “squeaky clean” feeling is terrible for your skin. It means you’ve washed away much of the natural protection that keeps your skin from drying out. Effectively melt away that sweat, dirt, debris, and pollution from your skin naturally with a gentle and soothing pH balanced cleanser like The Spa Dr® CLEAN Body Wash.
Short Warm Showers: Long hot showers may feel good in cold weather, but they deplete your skin’s lipid layer and decrease its ability to stay hydrated. Start babying your skin – use a water temperature that would be suitable for sensitive baby skin. Keep your shower under 10 minutes (5 minutes is optimal) to help decrease the evaporation of your skin’s natural hydration.
Stay Hydrated: Moisturize your skin inside and outside regularly. Drink plenty of fluids. Also, increase foods with high water content, like fruits and vegetables, to keep your skin hydrated from the inside. Apply a nutrient-rich body lotion like The Spa Dr® HYDRATE Body Moisturizer or oil blend like ENHANCE: Glow Boost. Both provide skin-loving nutrients to quench dry skin and help replenish the skin’s natural barrier.
Moisturize Correctly: Timing when you moisturize can be the easiest way to soothe dry skin. As soon as you get out of the shower, gently pat your skin dry, then immediately moisturize to seal in moisture. Moisturize throughout the day when needed. In the evening before bed, finish the day off with a nutrient-rich oil. I recommend using coconut, almond, or an all-natural plant-based oil blend to hydrate.
Always Protect: No matter the weather, our skin is exposed to many environmental toxins, free radicals, and stressors. These can cause dry skin – not to mention lead to premature signs of aging. So, slather on a nutrient-rich antioxidant serum, and when outside, use natural sun care. Protect and nourish your skin to combat environmental stress and maintain healthy skin.
Focus On Nutrition: Your skin depends on natural lipids to maintain its hydrated glow. Eating nutrient-rich foods, and natural fats provides your body with the building blocks to support healthy skin. These protective lipids and microbiome keep your skin looking soft, supple, plump, and radiant.
Beyond Dry Winter Skin
If you find your dry skin isn’t improving with at-home remedies, consider keeping a journal. A journal of your habits may help determine what could be contributing to dry skin. While it may just be harsh winter weather or the factors discussed above causing your dry skin – it may be more. There can be underlying causes, such as hypothyroidism. So, if you have chronically dry skin, talk to your healthcare provider to see if the root cause goes beyond the skin.
If you live with chronically dry skin and want to find out more about possible triggers, take my skin quiz.
The Spa Dr.® Approach
At The Spa Dr.®, our approach is to help shine the light on skin care information and offer guidance to nurture your skin care journey. We believe the information we provide will help support your self-care and healing, and we want you to feel safe and cared for within our community!
The Spa Dr.® offers natural skin care products that are safe and free from chemicals and toxins, which disrupt hormones. Our products are specially formulated to contain key nutrients in their pure and active form to provide optimal results. In addition, our products are pH balanced towards mild acidity to promote a healthy skin microbiome.
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