Fall and Winter Skin Health

This time of year can be rough on your skin. Apart from dryness and irritation, the cold and dry air takes its toll by dulling your skin and causing you to look older. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent uncomfortable and unsightly dry skin. If dry skin is a recurring problem for you during the fall and winter months, follow these steps to relieve and comfort.

Monitor the thermostat and use a humidifier. When the cold weather really starts to kick in, it can be tempting to combat the cold by raising the temperature inside your home and at work. However, increasing the heat makes the air dry. This resulting dryness will also dry out your skin. Instead of turning the heat up too high, try keeping it at a comfortable temperature without causing the air to get too dry. If the dryness still proves to be too much, using a humidifier is a good way to put some needed moisture back into the air.

Modify your winter bathing and skin care habits. Even though they can be relaxing and soothing, taking long hot baths and showers when it’s cold outside actually dries your skin out. This is because the heat deprives your skin of necessary moisture and oils. Taking warm, short baths (no longer than 15 minutes) is much less damaging. Also, if you exfoliate on a regular basis, consider cutting down to no more than once a week to reduce skin irritation.

Wear soft fabrics. Warm clothes sure do come in handy when the temperatures start to plummet. Unfortunately, some of the warmest fabrics are irritating to the skin. When wearing such materials as wool and polyester, be sure to wear softer fabrics like cotton against your skin to avoid unnecessary irritation.

Maintain a skin-friendly diet. Another way to help your skin look and feel its best this fall and winter is to feed it. Squash, pumpkin, cranberries and blueberries are some of the best foods for your skin because they are high in antioxidants.

Treat your hands with care. To keep your hands from getting too dry, be sure to moisturize and use mild soap. Also, if you use hand sanitizer throughout your workday, try to use a moisturizer-containing sanitizer. This will help to reduce dryness caused by alcohol in the sanitizer.

Enjoy a safe and healthy fall and winter with less discomfort from dry skin brought on by cold weather. If your dry skin gets particularly extreme, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist. Do you have other cold weather skin care tips that have worked well for you? Please share!