Your Winter Skin Survival Guide
South Floridians may not have to deal with months of snow and freezing temperatures, but those rare cold days can leave your skin craving moisture. Cold, dry conditions can cause dry, cracked skin or worsen skin-related conditions. A person's age, health, and time spent outdoors can also play a role. No one enjoys the feeling of dryness, so here is what you can do to keep your skin moisturized.
According to Dr. Susan Mata at Gardens Dermatology, some signs and symptoms include tight skin after showering, bathing or swimming, rough skin, itching, flaking, scaling, or peelings, fine lines or cracks, ashy skin, redness, and cracks that bleed. Thankfully, dry skin is an issue that you can correct at home.
When it's cold outside, a long hot shower sounds ideal, but it can be detrimental to your skin. Switch to warmer showers and keep them short, no more than five to ten minutes. Wash your face with warm water too. Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. Apply enough to clean but not enough to create a thick lather. Blot your skin with a towel. Keep the door closed to help increase moisture in the air.
After drying, apply your moisturizer. Ointments and creams work better than lotions to trap existing moisture into your skin. Slather it onto your skin shortly after drying to help seal it in. Look for ingredients like lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum. If your skin is extra dry, add a few drops of olive, jojoba, coconut, or vitamin E oil to your cleanser or moisturizer. Or, add some to your bathwater.
While some products contain active ingredients, they also have preservatives, acids, fragrances, alcohols, and dyes that can be drying or cause allergic reactions. These ingredients can also be harmful to sensitive skin. Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best approach.
For a holistic alternative, look for ingredients like shea butter and honey. Avocado, castor, and lavender oils are perfect for soothing dry skin, but they may be irritating if you have acne-prone skin, so conduct a patch test before using. Coconut oil is excellent for eczema and people who don't have acne-skin. Aloe Vera has both healing and moisturizing properties.
Keep moisture in the air by using a humidifier during the day and at night while you sleep. Keep in mind that running the heater in our home and car dehydrates the skin, so try to keep moisture in the air whenever possible.
If you are still struggling with dry skin, speak to your dermatologist.
For more information on healthy, moisturized skin, please call Gardens Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center at 561-776-7041 or visit them online at gardensdermatology.com.
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