Ice skating, pretty snowfalls, cozy fireplaces Â— just a few things we love about wintertime. What we hate? The dry, itchy skin that plagues us. Here are some ways to find relief.
The dry conditions have many of us scratching away at our parched, irritated skin; in fact, it may even be waking you up at night. Here are some skin strategies that should help calm your skin and stop you being your own personal scratchpad.
Switch your moisturizing product
The bottle of lotion or moisturizer you use in the summer may not be emollient enough in the harsh winter conditions. Winter comes with cold, dry air outdoors, plus dry, hot air indoors — no wonder your skin is so parched. And so you need to use a product that’s up to the task. Look for ones containing ceramides, which help retain moisture in the skin.
Invest in a humidifier
That hot, dry air mentioned above? It’s generated by your home heating, and zaps your skin of moisture. One of the best ways you can battle this is by buying a humidifier. A humidifier will help boost the moisture content in the air. Make sure the humidifier on your furnace is working. If it isn’t, replace it; or, if you can afford it, place plug-in humidifiers throughout the home. At least, leave one on in your bedroom where you’ll spend a good, solid amount of time during slumber. Another thing that may help? Turning down your thermostat just a few notches. You may not even notice the temperature change; and, if you do, just throw on a sweater or cardigan. Besides, it’ll bring down your heating bill!
Cut down on your hot-tub time
There’s nothing like popping into a steaming hot-tub while there’s cold air, ice and snow surrounding you. It’s just so relaxing and soothing. But that very hot water is only making your itchy winter skin worse, breaking down the lipid barriers in the skin, which leads to drying it out. The same goes for hot baths or showers. Watch the temperature control and you’ll find your skin will ease up on the itchiness.
Switch your soap
Your soap may be too harsh and drying — especially if you’re using an antibacterial soap on your hands. Try something gentler, such as a cleansing bar or milder, glycerin-based soap. Also, if the insides of your elbows or the backs of your knees are particular irritated, skip using soap on them (after all, it’s mainly your private parts and underarms that need the thorough cleaning).