Typically, as winter rolls around, the colder air becomes drier and so does your skin. However, not only does the cold winter air cause dry skin, but it also makes certain skin conditions worse. In our virtual dermatology practice, we often see patients with worse cases of eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea. Whether or not your skin type is more prone to react to dry winter weather, here are some winter skincare tips to help you avoid irritation and damage this winter.
How To Get Good Skin In the Winter?
As the days get colder during winter, it doesn’t mean you have to make drastic changes to your skincare routine to have good skin. You just need to make a few small adjustments. Three general rules to follow for healthy and glowing winter skin are:
- Establish a solid skincare routine
- Protect your skin from the cold air
- Stay Hydrated
Obviously, there are different types of products that will work better than others during the winter. Some conditions tend to flare-up and get worse during the winter. If you have one of these skin conditions, like eczema, we’ve listed a few general tips, but for the best results, we invite you to schedule an online dermatology appointment.
How Can I Keep My Skin Hydrated in the Winter?
When we talk about winter skincare, most people are thinking about the skin on their face. However, the skin on your hands, and even your lower legs, is particularly susceptible to drying out in the winter. Most of the following tips in this section focus on keeping the skin on your face hydrated in the winter.
Use a Moisturizer
Neglecting or forgetting to moisturize is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. By itself, water tends to evaporate and can leave your skin with less water in it after you’ve washed your face. Especially if you enjoy taking long hot showers when the weather is cold. In fact, it’s the heat, more than anything pulls moisture out of your skin, leading to that dry cracked texture.
To prevent your skin from drying out, apply a moisturizer to your skin after you dry off. The moisturizer will lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out and cracking.
One moisturizer we recommend is Vanicream’s flagship product, the hand and body moisturizing cream, is the perfect addition to your winter skin care regimen. It is safe to use on all skin types including allergenic and atopic patients, as well as infants and children.
Or if you need a product for acne-prone skin, try the LaRoche Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Oil-Free Face Cream with Niacinamide.
Reduce How Often You Exfoliate or Cleanse
One thing you should keep in mind is that just because cold weather makes your skin drier, doesn’t mean you should stop using certain products altogether. In particular, if you use a retinol cleanser, or exfoliate more than twice a week, you should take it down just a bit during the winter. Try spacing out how often you use more abrasive products so your skin has more time to rejuvenate.
For drier or more mature or sensitive skin on the face, we recommend switching to the Vanciream Gentle Facial Cleanser during the winter months.
Pay Attention to How Long You Shower
Even though it feels so good to shower with hot water in the winter, it actually is one of the main reasons your skin dries out. After you get out of the shower and dry off, any remaining water on your skin will evaporate and also pull out some of your skin’s moisture.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t trade hot showers for cold showers, just don’t take extremely hot showers or long hot showers. The longer you expose your skin to hot water, the more your skin will lose water.
Use a Humidifier
Depending on where you live, winter months typically mean less humidity. In Tennessee, the air stays relatively humid throughout the year. Humid winter climates make it feel colder, but your skin won’t lose as much of its natural moisture.
If you live in a drier climate, try using a humidifier in your room to help your skin maintain its natural moisture.
Use a Product with Hyaluronic Acid
Gels or ointments with hyaluronic acid (HA) can help you lock moisture into your skin. HA is a naturally occurring sugar that can hold more than 1000 times its weight in water. So products with HA will help pull water into your skin and help you keep it hydrated.
Retinoid, Lactic and Glycolic Acid Are Also Helpful
A common type of chemical exfoliant, acids are naturally occurring compounds that break up dead skin cells so they sluff off naturally, revealing smoother and brighter skin. Acids also help other products better penetrate the skin, making those products more effective. However, you should make sure to only use an acid treatment at night as directed.
How Can I Take Care of Eczema in The Winter?
For many people, eczema causes dry itchy skin patches that flare-up in the winter. Other symptoms of eczema, or atopic dermatitis, include:
- Dry and cracked skin
- Small bumps that bleed and scab over
- Sensitive skin
- Rough leathery patches of skin
At Tennessee Telederm, we have many years of experience treating every type of skin condition, including eczema. When we meet, we can discuss the severity of your symptoms and create a personalized treatment plan for you.
As a general tip for managing eczema symptoms, try taking your normal hand cream and put it in the refrigerator. When you take it out to apply it, the coldness will impair the nerves causing the itch. You can also use coconut oil, barrier creams, or even petroleum jelly to protect your skin and help it heal.
However, each case is different, so when you set up an appointment with us, we can discuss your symptoms and health history to help you find the most effective treatment. As a result, you can save time, money and worry!
How Can I Prevent Dry and Cracking Hands?
What is the number one thing to keep your hands from drying out? Moisturizer! Be sure to apply it regularly, especially after washing your hands or using hand sanitizer. Be careful how often you warm your hands next to a heater too. The heat will dry your hands out more than warming them in gloves or your pockets.
Make sure to use hand creams over lotions because creams have a higher oil content that protects your hands from dryness and damage.
What Can I do for my Psoriasis?
It depends on the severity of your symptoms. Psoriasis symptoms range anywhere from mild to severe. Psoriasis can also affect more than just the skin. Psoriasis can attack the nails and joints. For mild cases, you might be able to manage your symptoms with over the counter products. However, in cases that involve more skin area or affect the nails or joints, an evaluation by a dermatology professional is most likely needed.
Convenient Online Dermatology with Tennessee Telederm
If you’ve found these tips helpful, or have symptoms you would like to discuss with a dermal specialist, set up an appointment with Tennessee Telederm. We let you schedule your appointments at your convenience and meeting online means no waiting rooms, no masks, and no waiting in traffic.
We’re excited to meet with you, and we look forward to helping you keep your skin glowing and healthy this winter season.