While it may not feel like it right now in South Florida, winter is coming! With winter, comes colder temperatures, decreased humidity (great for hair but not for skin!) and dry, flaky, irritated skin. Here are a few tips to keep your skin silky smooth during the cool, dry months.
Keep Your Showers Short and Sweet
The first few minutes in the shower moisturize your skin, but any shower longer than 10 minutes actually dries your skin out. If you like very hot water, this also decreases natural oils in the skin and breaks down the barrier. Keep your showers lukewarm and under 10 minutes to keep your skin glowing.
Avoid Harsh, Scented Soaps
Many of my patients like to feel “squeaky-clean” after showers. But using harsh soaps with strong fragrance can break down the skin barrier, making you more prone to both dry skin and rashes. I usually recommend moisturizing, unscented soaps, such as Aveeno or Dove sensitive skin.
Avoid Scented Detergents for Your Clothing
While we all love the smell of fresh laundry, the scent in your detergent could also be irritating and drying out your skin. Remember that scent and soap residue in your clothing (especially if your are using fabric softeners and dryer sheets) are in contact with your skin all day, and these often cause irritation and rashes. I recommend sticking to sensitive skin, fragrance free detergents, such as Tide Free or All Free and Clear.
Use A Creamy Moisturizer
I always tell my patients that any moisturizing is better than none! However, choosing the right moisturizer, and doing it right after you get out of the shower, will maximize its ability to nourish your skin. A lotion is mostly water, which can easily evaporate after applied, while a cream is mostly oil, which is more likely to moisturize and protect your skin’s barrier.
Exfoliating can be a great addition to your dry skin regimen, removing dull, dry skin cells. However, exfoliating too often or with harsh, coarse products can cause small tears in the skin. This skin barrier breakdown allows irritants and chemicals to penetrate, which makes people prone to rashes. Choose gentle exfoliants and use them only a few times weekly if you are prone to irritation.