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12 Tips to Prevent Dry Skin During the Harsh, Winter Months

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

By Crista Wenisch, Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner, Beautiful You Dermatology

Cold, dry weather leads to an increase in dry skin! And guess where we’re headed?! Yay us!

Dry skin is a very common issue and complaint by many of us during the winter months, especially up here in the frozen tundra. The long, winter season causes dry, cracked and irritated skin which can allow bacteria to enter our bodies and cause further harm or disease.

So, how do you protect and prevent dry skin?

It’s very important to apply the right moisturizer daily and have a good, skincare routine in place to keep itchy, dry, and irritated skin at bay.

Here are 12 Tips to Moisturize and Prevent Dry Skin

1. Hydrating Ingredients = Happy Skin

  • Look for moisturizers that include some or all of the following hydrating ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, shea butter, natural oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil.

  • Creams or ointments are less irritating to the skin compared to a “lotion.” Ointments do not burn when they are applied. Lotions do rub into your skin better but can lead to burning sensations if your skin is dry or cracked.

2. Fragrance & Formaldehyde Free Please

  • Fragrances can irritate your skin, especially dry skin, so look for products that say, “fragrance free.”

  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers are commonly found in cosmetics, household products, preservatives, and fabrics, which can potentially cause contact allergy reactions.

3. Nighttime Hydration

  • Nighttime is a great opportunity to apply a thicker cream or moisturizer that can help provide intense hydration while you sleep. Look for one that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to retain moisture.

4. SPF is Your Daytime BFF

  • During the day, apply a moisturizer that contains a sunscreen SPF 30+ to protect your skin from Ultraviolet (UV) ray damage which can aid in dry, irritated skin.

5. Just Say No to Hot H20

  • Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Warm water is great and safe.

6. Gentle Cleansers Win

  • Wash with a gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh soaps or detergents that can dry your skin. Look for soaps and facial cleansers that say they are mild, gentle, fragrance free and for sensitive skin.

7. Pat Dry Please

  • Try to be gentle and pat yourself dry instead of harshly rubbing your skin which can cause further irritation and dryness.

8. Moisturize Right After Bath or Shower

  • Get that moisturizer on your body right after you get out of the bath or shower as this will help to retain lost moisture that otherwise occurs. Your skin will thank you!

9. Bonus Points for Exfoliation

  • Exfoliation is an extra step to your skincare routine, but it can help remove dead skin cells and improve your overall skin health. You have to be careful to not overdo it and only exfoliate 1-2 times a week.

10. Humidifiers = Happy Home

  • Use a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air and keep your skin from drying out. This is especially important during the winter months.

11. Drink up! (Water that is)

  • Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration of your skin from the inside out.

12. Consult a Dermatology Provider

  • If your dry skin continues and/or becomes severe, it may be a good time to schedule a skin check with a dermatology provider who can provide personalized recommendations and prescribe medicated creams/treatments if needed.

Remember the 3B’s:

  • Boring &

  • Bland (Fragrance free)

  • Then it is probably the Best!

Moisturizer Recommendations

There are so many products available on the market to aid in preventing and healing dry skin. Here are several that we stand by and recommend on a daily basis that are dermatology tested and recommended:

  • Cerave moisturizing lotion/cream/ointment

  • LaRoche Posay AP Lipikar moisturizing cream

  • Epionce facial renewal cream and hydrating mask

We now have products available at our clinic, including the recommended products above. Feel free to call or stop by to take a look!

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