Why Does Cold, Dry Weather Make Skin Dry?
Dry skin occurs when the skin does not have enough moisture in it. Humidity levels, meaning the amount of moisture in the air, tend to be lower during cold weather. During the hot summer months, humidity levels are much higher. When the weather is cold and dry, the dry air reduces the amount of moisture in the skin. Even if you do not spend much time outdoors during the winter, the dry air combined with home heating dries skin out. There are several things you can do to restore moisture to the skin and prevent winter dryness.
The best thing you can do in the winter to prevent your skin from drying out is to use plenty of moisturizer. Body and facial creams provide a protective barrier for your skin, preventing dry winter air from drying it out. If you tend to use a light formula for daily use in warmer weather, you may want to switch to a heavier, richer moisturizer for the winter. Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing to seal in moisture. Remember to keep your lips moist as well by applying a lip balm before going outside.
Another way to prevent dry skin in the winter is by exfoliating regularly. Dead skin cells can build up on the face and body, causing itching and flaking. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, improving the look and feel of skin and reducing dry patches. Exfoliate your body
using a loofah once a week while you are bathing. Be sure to take warm showers or baths rather than hot ones, as hot water is more drying to skin. You should also use an exfoliating facial scrub or oatmeal soap every few days as well, but avoid scrubbing irritated skin. Use a pumice stone to slough off dead skins cells from your feet.
Some types of home heating systems, such as electric or forced air systems, produce dry heat. Dry heat combined with the dry outside air can dry the skin out. Humidity can also be lost due to lack of insulation or from leaks through windows or under doors. Itís also important to note that cold air entering from outside drops the humidity level inside your home. A humidifier can increase the humidity in your home. A humidifier uses water to dispense moist air, which can help with dry skin. Keeping the humidifier set between 40-45% will maintain moisture without increasing dampness at a level that might promote mold growth.
Another way to prevent dry skin in the winter
is by staying hydrated. Many people donít drink as much water during the winter as they do during the summer because it isnít as hot and they tend to be less physically active. It is important to drink plenty of water year round, and to avoid drinks that contain caffeine, such as soda, coffee, and tea. Drinks with caffeine are diuretics, which cause you to eliminate water from your body more frequently. Staying properly hydrated will moisturize your skin from the inside, while you protect the outside.