There’s a lot to love about winter in New England, especially the gorgeous mountain views, freshly-primed ski runs, and quaint villages blanketed in snow. But while the season does wonders for the landscape, it’s not nearly as kind to your skin.
Your wonderful skin is the body’s first line of defense against the elements, which can by quite cruel here in the northern hemisphere. Here are four common wintertime causes of dry skin, plus the best ways to combat them and keep your skin performing at its best:
1. Winter Weather
In our region, the humidity level typically plunges along with the air temperature. Exposure to this cold, dry air leaves skin parched.
Solution: Protect your skin as soon as you get out of your shower or bath by applying moisturizer (body lotion or oil) to your damp skin immediately. It’s also a good idea to dial up on the humidity in your environment where possible, ideally to a constant 45% to 55% with the air temperature around 68°F. And remember to always protect your skin when venturing outdoors with hats, gloves, scarves, and lip balm.
2. Hot Showers
Even though hot showers (and baths) feel amazing after a day spent out in the cold, they wreak havoc on your skin. Water that’s too hot will dry out the natural oils that keep your skin healthy. Time is a factor too – the longer you linger, the drier your skin will become.
Solution: Don’t give in to temptation! Dial down the water temp and don’t stay in too long. When taking a bath, add some bath salts (Dead Sea salt is our favorite for dry winter skin), a bath bomb, and/or bath oil. Contrary to what you might expect from their name, bath salts will hydrate and detoxify your skin.
Your skin secretes a natural protective acidic film called the acid mantle. This mantle prevents the growth of harmful microorganisms and locks in moisture, but commercial soaps tend to strip it away.
Solution: Trade your traditional soap for a good homemade bar or artisanal soap made with organic botanical oils. It will do wonders for keeping your skin’s acid mantle intact and hydrating your skin.
Another cause of dry skin that could be lurking in your bathroom is your toner. Some toners contain alcohol which acts as a drying agent and upsets the pH balance of the acid mantle.
Solution: A pure vibrational floral water (hydrosol) will replenish your skin and add much needed minerals, without the drying effects of alcohol.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore dry skin this winter. Cleanse, hydrate, and moisturize your skin in a way that maintains the presence and balance of your skin’s natural defenses by choosing skin care that works with your skin, not against it.