Winter means lower temperatures and lower humidity. And that means more dry skin than your summer skin-care routine can handle. Cold, dry air strips the skin of its moisture, leaving it tight, rough, dry and red. When skin goes untreated and unprotected over the long term, increased wrinkling, fine lines, sensitivity and rough, uneven texture result.
The following tips will help you care for your skin throughout the dry season—and learn when it’s time to seek professional and medical care for your skin.
Skin Care at Home
The main theme for winter skin care is hydration. Drink more water throughout the day and add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. In addition:
- Sleep with a humidifier in the room
- Wear cotton gloves over moisturizer on your hands
- Take warm or tepid showers instead of hot ones
- Apply a gentle, unscented moisturizer on your skin while it’s still damp
- Reapply moisturizer after each hand-washing
- Reapply lip balm as needed
Aesthetician Services and Products
Medical-grade skin-care products such as Obagi, Skin Medica and Skin Deep can be combined with services such as facials to have a long-lasting effect on dry skin. These products contain ingredients designed to hydrate your skin, as well as sunscreens to help provide protection.
A custom consultation with an aesthetician can make you aware of new skin-care options that match your skin’s needs.
When to See a Dermatologist
Dry skin can itch, flake, crack and bleed. Persistently dry skin can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. If gentle home care does not bring relief to your dry skin, you may want to see a dermatologist.
Skin conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis can get worse without medical treatment. Your dermatologist will examine your skin and might order diagnostic tests before making recommendations or prescribing medicine or lifestyle changes to help your skin heal.
This article was reviewed by Carilion Clinic Dermatology and Mohs Surgery Jan. 13, 2020.