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How to Fight Dry, Winter Skin

Quench your skin thirst with these skincare tips

It’s winter. The air is dry and freezing cold. Your skin is suffering and nothing seems to be working. Before we get into skin-healing, you should first know what’s causing your dry skin.

Why is my skin dry?

The weather affects our skin much more than you think. In winter, with lower temperatures, wind, and overall less moisture in the air, the moisture that’s present in your skin is at risk of being stripped away.

Additional factors like washing hands frequently (to keep from getting sick), using hand sanitizer, and forgetting to wear sunscreen all contribute to your skin’s health. If you feel like you’re doing all you can to moisturize, but your skin is still cracking and feels dry, it’s time to check out the ingredients on your skincare products.

What ingredients does my skin need?

We chatted with the AADA, American Academy of Dermatology Association, about your skin’s needs and how to best combat the ailment of dry skin. Here’s some tips and info we got:

Ingredients to steer clear from:

  • Alcohol (except sanitizer)
  • AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid)
  • Fragrance
  • Retinoids

If you suffer from dry skin, products that have these ingredients are bound to make your problems worse. So before we go further, check your products and make sure they’re helping to heal your skin.

Products and nourishing ingredients

The dermatologists at the ADA agree that using something like a cream, as opposed to a lotion, is the best plan of action when it comes to dry skin. Even ointments can help if your skin is really bad, as ointments and creams tend to be less irritating to the average person’s skin.

When in doubt, go with something for sensitive skin.

While the skin on your face may have slightly different needs than your hands or your body, some of the same principles apply. Making sure your products are actually adding moisture and working to retain it is a huge part of keeping your skin healthy (nobody wants cracking, bleeding hands!)

If you find some of these ingredients in your creams and ointments, you know you’re on the right track:

  • Shea butter
  • Lactic or Hyaluronic Acid
  • Mineral oil
  • Glycerin
  • Jojoba oil

Tips and tricks

The healing magic isn’t only in the cream. Take note of how your environment (not just the outdoors!) is affecting your skin health.

Do you tend to take long, really hot showers? Do you tend to wear rougher clothes? Do you protect your hands when you’re handling cleaning products? Is your laundry detergent and softener heavily scented?

Here’s 3 things you can start doing to further protect your skin when it’s prone to dryness:

  • Use a humidifier Add a couple drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your diffuser or crank up a humidifier to add some moisture to the air around you. This added moisture will help keep your hands moisturized in between applications of your hand cream.
  • Choose soft clothing Rougher fabrics, like cotton, can pull moisture away from your skin barrier, keeping your hands dry even after applying creams. Opt for clothes that are closer to silk-like texture to maintain moisture.
  • Add a layer of protection Glove it up! This may be a no-brainer but making sure your skin is covered really helps against wind and the low humidity of the winter. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves when you do dishes or handle chemicals!

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