1. Invest in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom.
2. Lower the Thermostat to Avoid Dryness
When it's chilly outside, what's the first thing you want to do? Crank up the heat! But central heat can make the air in your house even drier. Try setting the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable setting — 68°F to 72°F — to maintain healthy skin.
3. Limit Shower Time and Temperature
It may be tempting to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin will be much better-served with a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower (or bath). You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands — if the water causes your skin to turn red, it’s too hot.
4. Opt for Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The wrong soap can worsen itchy, dry skin. For instance, regular bar soaps may contain irritating ingredients and fragrances. Instead, wash with a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel. (And do look for products specifically labeled “fragrance-free,” because "unscented" products may contain fragrances.) You can also prevent winter skin problems by using less soap overall, so limit your lathering to necessary areas, such as your hands, armpits, genitals, and feet.
5. Modify Your Facial Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
During the winter months, choose cream-based cleansers, and apply toners and astringents sparingly, if at all. Many astringents contain alcohol, which can further dry your skin.
6. Moisturize Frequently, Especially Your Hands
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. It's best to use a cream or ointment in the winter. Lotions are better in warmer, humid climates.
7. Apply Sunscreen — Even on Gray Winter Days
Whether you’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s just as important to be applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer. Before you go outside, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body.
8. Wear Appropriate, Comfortable, Nonirritating Clothing
Many cold-weather fabrics can aggravate dry winter skin. Keep wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin. This can cause dry skin to get irritated and itchy.
9. Remember to Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil.
10. Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly to Avoid Itchy Skin
Wearing wet clothes and shoes can further irritate your skin and cause itchiness. If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.
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