Here in Northern Virginia, the winter environment can often be rough on your skin, especially if you’re already prone to dry or flaky skin the rest of the year.
1. Protect Your Skin’s Natural Oils
Winter air already contains less moisture than other seasons, so it’s important to protect your skin’s natural oils. Avoid hot showers and body soaps that contain detergents. Hot water can further dehydrate your skin, and body soaps that contain detergents can diminish protective skin oils.
2. Hydrate Properly
Hydration is important to the health of your skin year round, but it’s also essential that you moisturize the outer layer of your skin so that you can retain moisture underneath the skin’s outer layer.
People shouldn’t assume that drinking excess fluids will help dry skin, according to Dr. Alicia Zalka, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale. If your skin is already very dry, these extra liquids may just evaporate instead of retaining moisture within the skin.
To properly hydrate, remember to moderate your consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages. Alcoholic drinks as well as caffeinated beverages can affect your skin and body more during harsh, dry winter months.
3. Reassess Your Skin Care Regimen
Not all skin care products are designed to be used year round. Cleansers and exfoliators for example, should be milder in the winter than in the summer, while moisturizer should be a richer to protect your skin during winter weather. Also, don’t forget that daily sunblock application is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer.