Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Who doesn’t want blemish free, glowing skin? But, in all honesty every one of us is guilty of ignoring the demands of our skin. It also doesn’t help that the weather especially winter brings its share of health issues including dry, flaky, itchy skin. If you are struggling with dry skin and don’t know what you should do then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you 6 ideas you can use right now for dry skin troubles. But before you start doing something to correct the problem you need to understand the root cause.
What are the possible causes of dry skin during winters?
Your skin produces an oily substance called sebum to allow moisture to stay locked into your skin. When your skin doesn’t have enough sebum, it starts losing moisture and becomes dry. Although dry skin isn’t always very serious but lack of humidity in the winter air can worsen the situation and cause you a lot of discomfort. The skin might continue to get itchier, red, and scaly and keep causing trouble. You can’t only blame the cold air here as these situations can also cause your skin to lose its moisture:
- Overuse of hot water and soap
- Use of harsh products like astringents
- Certain medical conditions like psoriasis or eczema
- Age – As you get older, your skin becomes drier and thinner
Sometimes however it can happen that your skin becomes red or itchy all of a sudden. This may be because of an allergy. In case you notice this happening frequently it is advisable to get an allergy test done to determine the cause.
How to deal with dry skin?
Avoid using hot water
Long and steaming hot showers might sound like the best idea during winters but that hot water takes sebum away from your skin making it dry and rough. The longer you’ll stay under the hot water, the more damage it will do. Rather using lukewarm water is right for the skin. Also, experts say that a quick 10 minutes shower is enough to keep the skin healthy. Moreover, while showering, do not use a lot of soap as that again makes your skin dry. Finally, pat dry yourself with a soft towel and apply moisturizer immediately after that as this way your skin will retain more moisture.
Restrict using soap
Using harsh soaps with fragrances while bathing, or washing hands can strip your skin off moisture and suppleness. Therefore, use mild bodywash liquids and hand wash liquids instead which are not too harsh on the skin.
When we talk about moisturizing, we are not just talking about moisturizing face or hands. Your whole body equally needs the moisture. That is the reason markets are full of products like hand creams, foot creams, body lotions and lip balms. So, pay attention to each and every inch of your body. There are broadly four types of moisturizers – Ointments (for example, Vaseline), oil-based moisturizers (for example – mineral oil), cream moisturizers (for example, hand creams) and lotions. Use the type of moisturizer that would suit your skin type the most. Most importantly, apply it immediately after you shower as your skin has the tendency to retain more moisture at that time.
As the air around us during winters lack moisture, using humidifier could be helpful. They’ll add moisture to the air thereby preventing the loss that the dry air can do. This added moisture in the air can also help with nose irritation, dry cough, headache and sinus. So, simply keep a humidifier in your room or install some all around your house.
Exfoliate in moderation
Exfoliating your face when the skin is dry and flaky will worsen the situation. Since your skin is already sensitive right now, exfoliating it will hurt it even more. If you really wish to exfoliate, then choose a mild exfoliating product which has no harsh chemicals. Do so only once a week.
Seek a specialist
If you have tried all the above mentioned tips to deal with dry skin for a week at least and nothing has worked for you, then there are chances of you having some deep-rooted issue. Sometimes low levels of estrogen or thyroid diseases can also result in dry skin; it is advisable to get yourself tested for hormonal issues or thyroid disorders. You can also go to a skin specialist and get a complete examination done.
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