Winter is around the corner and for many of us that means not only bundling up and figuring out how to keep the house warm, but also dealing with the discomfort and unsightliness of dried out skin. Our skin tends to dry out in the winter because as temperatures drop, so does the level of humidity in the air. By following the three strategies detailed below, we can alleviate the skin-drying symptoms of cold, dry, winter air.
- Stay Hydrated
It’s important during the cold winter months to drink plenty of fluids. While we aren’t generally actively perspiring during winter, the colder, dried out air saps moisture from our skin. For this reason our lips and noses dry out and can tend to crack and burn during a stretch of frigid winter weather. Experts recommend drinking at least eight – 8 oz. glasses of water per day, or around a half-gallon. Keep in mind that water alone does not provide the electrolytes necessary to maintain proper hydration. If you aren’t taking in much nutrition you may want to select a sports drink or nutritional supplement thar replenishes these important fluid regulators.
- Use Humidifiers
Our nose is the first line of defense against invasive airborne germs. The mucus membranes and cilia in our nostrils filter out harmful particles before they can get to our throat, ears, and lungs, and eventually into the bloodstream. When the mucus membranes and cilia dry out, they are less able to combat germs. This is one of the primary reasons we tend to get sick during the colder, drier winter months.
A humidifier is a terrific way to inject moisture into the air of your home. Smaller, single-room humidifiers can be used in the bedroom, while attaching a humidifier to your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System will keep the air all throughout your home saturated to an ideal level of humidity. It’s wise to have a professional HVAC consultant inspect your home’s heating and cooling system prior to the cold winter months. Talk with your certified HVAC professional about the potential for incorporating a whole-house humidifier into your system to improve air quality, immunity, and skin health.
- Instead of Soap, Use Moisturizer
Excessively hot baths or showers combined with harsh bar soaps can strip moisturizing oils from the skin’s surface and make it vulnerable to drying, flaking, and cracking. Instead of taking that scorcher, moderate the temperature of your bathwater, and use a moisturizer instead of a soap. Soaps can often contain additives and abrasives that dry out the skin and leave it more susceptible to damage and irritation. On the other hand, quality moisturizers will replenish the natural oils in your skin and help keep it supple and soft.
Winter can be a particularly harsh season for skin health. A strategy combining behavior modification and upgraded equipment can give you an extra advantage in the struggle to keep skin pliable and healthy during the frigid winter weather.