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Cold weather causes of dry skin

Christy Pogorelac is a marketing manager and freelance writer who likes to cover topics like entertaining, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. Along with writing, her favorite past-times include date nights with her husband, jogging in the...

What causes winter itch

Dry skin that comes along with wintertime is often a terribly annoying and completely common condition. Skin is often itchy, tight and accompanied by dull, flaky and red patches. Here are a few common causes for this totally treatable condition.

Cold weather dry skin

The why of dry

Seasonal dry skin is commonly referred to as winter itch because it is just so common. Low humidity levels inside and out draw the moisture from your skin, leaving it dry, flaky and vulnerable. The cold, dry windy weather is one culprit for causing dry skin, but long-term use of central heating also causes dry air and dry skin during the wintertime.

Washing or bathing too much is another cause for dry skin. Unfortunately, lingering in a hot shower on a cold winter morning may do more harm than good in helping you to get a fresh start to the day. Extended exposure to water can actually wash away the natural oils that protect your skin. If you're not sure how much time is too much, then be sure to pay attention to how your skin feels as you get out of the shower or bath. If it feels tight, then it's dried out.

Speaking of showers, the soaps and skin products that kept you feeling fresh and clean throughout the warmer months may end up contributing to your seasonal skin condition. Harsh soaps and light moisturizers that worked so well during the summer may end up stripping your skin of its natural moisture and leaving it unprotected to combat the dry winter conditions.

Battling the wintertime skin blues

Keep your skin protected by choosing a heavy-duty, quality moisturizer. You don't have to spend a fortune to do it. There are plenty of drugstore options that will do the trick. Look for something with lanolin or mineral oils for protection, like Carmex Original Healing Ointment or Lotion.

Getting a good moisturizer is only half the battle. A few tips to making sure you get the most out of your moisturizer include:

  • Apply moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower. Pat skin dry, and apply while it is still damp to make sure that it really soaks into the skin.
  • Keep a consistent routine, applying lotion two or three more times throughout the day.
  • Beat dry feet by slathering on a thick layer of lotion, and then putting on a pair of socks every night before bed.

More simple dry skin solutions include using a humidifier at night, drinking plenty of water and taking an oatmeal bath. Also, it is extremely important to protect skin from the elements. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day, and accessorize with outdoor winter wear like gloves, hats and scarves. You'll look great, and your skin will remain protected and flake-free all winter long.

More dry skin tips:

Great products and tips for healthy skin
The moisturizing guide for your face and body

Homemade face masks for dry skin

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