Winter Skin Care -12 Best Ideas for Dry Skin

Winter skin care is very important. Generally in winter skin becomes dry, rough & scaly. In this article, we discuss some home remedies for winter skin care. Winter is the season of comfort, winter is the season for good food and warmth, winter is the season of love and cuddling beside a fire, and yes winter is the season for spending more time at home.

But this season can be a nightmare if it is not handled properly. The chilling season can give you dry and flaky skin leaving your skin to be itchy, red, and irritated. Tight skin, chapped lips, rough knuckles are common problems in winter.

Winter can give wreak havoc on your skin as a gift. Chilling season, cold wind, rains can absorb moisture from your skin and make it dry. This leads your skin to be rough, and dull not only the face but also the skin of hands feet, and other areas that are exposed to the outer environment.

Besides that, the best thing about this season is sitting in front of a fire but it can dreadfully dry your skin. Even a hot shower though it warms you up causes stripping of natural oils from the skin.

Skin in Cold Weather

Skin dryness is the biggest problem for everyone in the winter season. In this season, there will be changes in humidity and temperature causing a lack of moisture in the environment and therefore leading to dry skin.

Dry skin can affect a wide range of populations and the severity of problems varies from person to person.

This article focuses on care for rough, flaky skin including causes symptoms, treatment, and prevention during this season.

Winter and Dry skin
Fig1: Dry skin in winter

Cause of Dryness of Skin in Winter

Humidity and Temperature:

Changes in humidity and temperature are mainly responsible for dry rough skin also known as xerosis.

Our skin consists of two layers Dermis and Epidermis. The epidermis is the outer layer. The outer surface of the epidermis is called as stratum corneum. This stratum corneum is made up of lipids and dying or dead cells.

This skin barrier prevents the harmful toxin from entering the body. Damage to the skin barrier leads to dryness and irritation.

For this skin barrier to perform its function well moisture is a key factor. Due to lack of humidity, the moisture from our skin is lost during winter with fewer amounts of lipid particles on the surface of the stratum corneum. Thus leading to dryness and irritation.

The temperature of the indoor environment is heated up high during the winter season which causes a reduction of humidity. This influences the amount of moisture needed in the skin.

Similarly, the cold climate, cold winds, and sometimes rain can remove the natural oils that moisturize the skin.

Some research also proved that taking a hot shower can also cause dryness of skin causing damages to the surface. The use of scrubs and harsh soaps is also one of the causes of stripping natural oils from the skin.

Skins moisturization depends on different factors like age, gender, ethnicity, race, and environmental conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Xerosis

Damage to the skin barrier can lead to dryness which shows some peculiar signs. Some of them are listed

  • Flaking or scaling
  • rough patches
  • redness in the skin
  • cracks in the skin
  • redness, in lighter skin tones
  • itchy feeling
  • Burning sensation in the skin
  • Raw skin which is sensitive to touch
symptoms: itchy and redness
Fig2: Redness in skin

Depending upon the individual and the area affected one can experience several symptoms at the same time. Treatment as soon as possible can decrease the severity. Medically dry skin is called xerosis.

Treatment Tips for Winter Skin Care for Xerosis

Dry and damaged skin can be recovered by moisture refill. A simple fixed skin routine should be followed while considering treating dry skin. A sorted-out routine helps in preventing unnecessary products on the skin such as cosmetic toners and makeup products.

Fig 3: Maintaining healthy skin

The use of moisturizer is a must to rehydrate the skin, especially the epidermis layer. Applying moisturizer preserves water in the skin. Moisturizer is the best way to rehydrate the epidermis and prevent water loss from the skin.

Dense lubricating moisturizers are the perfect solution. The products which are to be used on dry skin should be without fragrance. The lotions and gels which are thin inconsistency can cause a burning sensation whenever used on irritated skin.

Linolenic acid, linoleic acid, and lauric acid are the agents present in the moisturizers that can greatly help in softening and smoothening the skin. These agents fill the gap between the intracellular spaces of the skin cells where moisture is minimal.

There are other agents also called humectants that help to appeal moisture to the skin. Some of them are:

  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Sorbitol

Essence like lanolin, silicone, mineral oils seals the moisture from the skin. A defensive barricade is formed by these agents to prevent damage from other environmental factors.

As per the instructions given by the American Academy of Dermatology Association applying moisturizers after a shower or bath is a must. This will prevent loss of moisture and seal them.

Prevention of Dry Skin  in Winter

We can’t skip the winter season, but by making some changes in skincare we can fully enjoy winter. By using a fixed and simple skincare routine and using the right products it is possible to keep our skin look creamy, smooth, and radiant all over winter.

1. Moisturize just after Washing

Washing will strip natural oils present in the skin. These natural oils greatly help in capping moisture from the skin therefore it is very important to replace them. A good moisturizer will help in locking your moisture from the skin.

2. Daily Application of Sunscreen

Though there is less sunlight in winter UV rays can still affect the skin barrier and destroy the moisture barrier needed for maintaining healthy hydrated skin. Therefore it is better not to skip sunscreen in winter also.

3. Treatments Used at Night

Emollients could be a better way that could replenish our skin and prevent dryness. Since it is used overnight our skin will get much time to absorb the emollients helpful for revitalizing skin and resulting in healthy glowing skin.

4. Skincare Routine 

If the skin is sensitive or irritated it should be kept in mind not to use over products. It is better to use a simple skincare routine in winter. Toners, serum, and other heavy makeup should be avoided.

It is better not to use a facial scrub, a steam mask which can lead to more skin damage. Gentle cleansing and using a moisturizer and sunscreen could be perfectly sufficient for the winter season.

5. Humidifier

A humidifier helps in introducing moisture back into the indoor air especially when the temperature inside rooms is heated high during winter. Having high moisture in the air could prevent cranking of skin and prevent dryness.

Fig4: Humidifier for maintaining indoor temperature

6. Bathing at Low Temperature

A hot shower could be very relaxing in cold weather. But it is better to keep water at a lukewarm temperature while bathing. Using hot water can tear up the layer of natural oils causing dryness.

7. Avoid Scrubbing and Exfoliates

Exfoliates that are used for removing dead skin can over-exfoliate at the time of winter if the products used are right or not. It is better to use gentle chemical exfoliate. Harsh scrubs can cause breakage of skin-stripping of the oil layer and result in cracked skin.

8. Using the Seclusive Reagent 

Sometimes even the use of emollients is not sufficient enough to repair the skin. At that time seclusive chemicals could be used in skincare routines. Occlusive ingredients help in sealing the moisture in the skin.

Some of the agents are:

  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Rosehip oil
  • Petroleum jelly products

9. Eat a Balanced Diet and Hydrate

For healthy skin, a healthy diet is a key factor. Foods rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids should be enrolled in the daily diet. These nutrients help in the protection of cells preventing environmental damage and thus helping in making healthy cells resulting in healthy skin.

Besides that, it is very important to hydrate your body with at least 8 glasses of water. Less fluid intake will affect the appearance of the skin thus making it more prone to dry out.

Fig 5: Hydration in winter

10. Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep could be very beneficial in repairing the whole body system including the skin. Eating a walnut before sleep could be very beneficial for healthy-looking skin.

11. Choosing Fabrics

It is better to use loose comfy organic clothes to reduce the risk of physical irritation. Besides, washing clothes with regular washing materials should be avoided. Instead, look for chemicals that are formulated for sensitive skin that are free from strong chemicals and perfumes.

Fig6: fabrics for winter

12. Wear Gloves

Many people focus on face care and forget to take care of the skin in the other regions that are exposed especially hands. Gloves can be good protection for the skin of hands that prevent direct exposure to environmental agents.

Before going out or washing dishes a pair of gloves is the best option for preventing dryness. The use of lukewarm water and limiting the use of an air drier could also help in making your skin hydrated and smooth.

General FAQs:-

  • What does skin need most in winter?

Ans. – Skin needs moisturizer the most in the winter season.

  • What happens to skin in winter?

Ans. – Skin loses moisture and becomes red, patchy, scaly in this season.

  • Do we need sunscreen in the winter season?

Ans. – Even there is less sunlight to protect our skin from the UV light of the sun we need to apply sunscreen

  • What is winter skin?

Ans. – Loss of the outer layer in our skin causes flaky skin. This skin is called winter skin.

  • Does cold weather make our skin darker?

Ans. – Our skin loses moisture in the cold season therefore the skin tone appears darker.

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