As a dermatologist, one of the most common concerns I hear from my patients during the St. Louis winter months is dry, flaky skin. Cold, dry air combined with indoor heating can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.
But fear not – there are steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and hydrated all winter long. Here are some tips from the Mid-County Dermatology team:
Moisturize regularly. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type. Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, which helps to retain moisture in the skin. It’s also a good idea to apply moisturizer immediately after showering or washing your face to lock in hydration.
Use a humidifier. Dry air can worsen dry skin, so consider using a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air. This can help to keep your skin hydrated and reduce dryness and flakiness.
Take shorter showers and baths. While it may be tempting to take long, hot showers to warm up during the winter, this can actually strip the skin of its natural oils. Instead, try to take shorter, lukewarm showers and avoid hot water. It’s also a good idea to use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and avoid scrubbing your skin too hard with a washcloth or loofah.
Protect your skin from the cold. When you’re outside in the cold, be sure to cover up exposed skin to protect it from the dry, cold air. This can include wearing gloves, a scarf, and a hat to cover your hands, face, and ears.
Avoid alcohol-based products. Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so try to avoid products that contain alcohol, such as astringents and toners. These products can strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to dryness.
Don’t forget your lips. The skin on your lips is thin and prone to dryness, so be sure to use a lip balm with SPF to protect and moisturize your lips.
Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is important for overall skin health, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This can help to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
In addition to these tips, it’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist for any persistent dry skin issues. A dermatologist can help to diagnose the cause of your dry skin and recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. So don’t let dry skin ruin your winter – with a little bit of extra care, you can keep your skin healthy and hydrated all season long.