Even if winter isn’t your favorite season, there are plenty of reasons to like it: Festive cuisine, limited-edition coffee, and spectacular snow in some parts of the world. Dry skin is, unfortunately, a part of the season, but why does skin get dry in the winter?
Dry skin can bother you at any time of year, but it seems to be more irritating (and occasionally painful) in the winter. It’s as though the cold wriggles its way into the fissures in your skin and extends out, making the tiny ravines feel enormous. I can tell you it’s no walk in the park coming from someone whose hands have physically bled due to dry skin in the winter.
Of course, once you’ve got dry skin, you’ll know how to deal with it — slathering the affected region in gallons of high-strength moisturizer, for example — but there are other ways to prevent it from getting too bad. Decipher the less obvious reasons for dry skin and arm yourself with expert information to avoid dry skin altogether.
Reasons behind dry skin
1. Heating in the home
Dr. Hadley King, the dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa, notes that as the temperature drops, so does the humidity in the air. “The usage of indoor heating adds to the problem. More moisture from your skin is lost to the dry air as the air becomes drier. A humidifier is beneficial because it replaces part of the moisture in the air, which means your skin will not be as dry.”
Dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors, according to Dr. Michael Swann, a board-certified dermatologist. He claims that “heated air in our homes, businesses, and cars is generally rather dry.” “As a result of the slower turnover and dryer weather, our skin thickens (the dead layer stays on longer) and cracks.”
2. Humidity Decreases
Throughout an email to Bustle, Heather Wilson, licensed esthetician and Director of Brand Development at InstaNatural, explains, “Humidity levels decrease in the fall and winter months, which is a major contributor to the dryness we experience in our skin.” “Humidity levels represent the amount of water vapor in the air, and increased humidity during the summer months keeps our skin hydrated.” Our skin’s moisture levels reduce when the temperature drops and the humidity drops, causing the first signs of dryness.”
“While the weather conditions persist, our skin works hard to create additional oil to hydrate,” she explains, “but many skin types find it difficult to catch up.” Knowing when to increase your moisturizing products and starting early to prevent dryness is the greatest approach to avoid unpleasant dryness.”
3. You’re Using Inappropriate skincare Products
Your skin has various needs in the winter, so you’ll need to address them with the help of specific skincare products. Dr. King also feels that different products should be used in the winter. “To assist lock in the moisture in your skin, use rich emollients,” she advises.
It’s a totally different ballgame for acne sufferers, according to NYC dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
“Acne patients may find the winter months particularly difficult, as many acne medications can dry up the skin,” he notes. “During the winter, choose lesser concentrations of acne fighters like benzoyl peroxide. Higher, perhaps more irritating concentrations of BPO, such as 5% or even 10%, have been demonstrated to be as effective as 2.5 percent BPO. Consult your dermatologist about non-irritating, effective prescription choices, such as Aczone gel 7.5 percent, which will not dry out your skin.”
4. The temperature of your shower is too hot
Dr. Zeichner claims that “long, hot showers that deplete the skin of natural oils…contribute to dryness and skin barrier failure.” “To counteract this, take short, lukewarm baths. When you come out of the shower, use gentle, soap-free cleansers and moisturize within five minutes.”
5. You Dress in Denser Fabrics
“The skin dries and dehydrates more intensely during the winter for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the use of heavy clothing in some cases,” says Dr. Christian Jurist, certified Aesthetic Medicine Specialist, Facial Specialist, and Medical Director of Pevonia’s Global Education.
6. Dry skin Elements
“Our skin performs an incredible job of shielding us from the environment. In the winter, our skin needs to be a thicker, stronger barrier against the cold. “Keep in mind that our skin is responsible for shunting blood away from the skin in the winter to keep our interior bodies warm,” Dr. Swann explains.
7. Your Sebaceous Glands Aren’t As Effective As They Used To Be
“Less functional sebaceous glands that create oil and maintain a healthy epidermal barrier,” explains Dr. Jurist. To put it another way, they don’t operate as effectively in the cold and hence can’t keep your skin hydrated.
Now that you know why your skin gets dry in the winter, you may take preventative actions or stop doing things that are causing your skin to dry out. Then, fingers crossed, you’ll be able to say goodbye to cracked, hurting skin for good!
Skincare tips for winter to avoid dry skin
Apply a moisturizer to your dry skin at least once a day.
Applying moisturizer two to three minutes after showering produces the best results. Creams are more effective than lotions at hydrating the skin. Apply moisturizer twice a day throughout the colder months of the year if you have a tendency to develop dry skin. It is critical to supply your skin with adequate food and hydration. Moisturizing creams are the most effective way to combat dry skin. Your skin cells will be nourished and hydrated with the right moisturizing lotion. Try glutathione lightening body lotion, which I recommend. It’s one of the most effective body lotions I’ve ever used.
Apply lip balm on your lips.
Lips are also prone to drying and cracking in the cold weather, so apply lip balm as often as possible rather than licking or peeling off dry skin.
Keep your hands from cracking and drying out by wearing gloves.
Moisturize your hands after each wash to replenish the moisture you’ve lost. Avoid wearing wool against your skin if you have eczema since it can irritate your skin and create dermatitis. To add moisture to the air in your room, use a humidifier.