Dry Skin Care in Winter

During winter we like to feel toasty and warm, wrapped up in cozy sweaters or blankets, or settled in front of a fire. However, freezing temperatures, low humidity, and furnace-blasted dry air can leave our skin dry, flaky and itchy.

Here are some useful tips to keep skin from getting too dry during the cold weather months:

  • Add humidity to your home and work by using humidifiers.
  • Use an oil-based moisturizer. Ointments or heavy creams seal water in the skin and preserve moisture better when the humidity is low.
  • Generously apply sunscreen before going outdoors. Apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to any exposed areas. Sunscreen protects from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Everyday bathing, hot showers, or baths can strip skin’s natural oils. Limit showers or baths to no more than 10 minutes, pat dry, and moisturize while your skin is still damp. Avoid deodorant bars, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps, and skin care product containing alcohol. Instead, use warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap or moisturizing body wash.
  • Hydrate. Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.
  • Don’t wear wet gloves or socks. They irritate the skin and causes cracks, peels, and in some cases, eczema.

These simple tips should help prevent dry skin. If you experience severe, chronic dry skin, consult your physician or dermatologist.

– Nafisa Kha, Pharm.D

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