The dry air in winter – both indoors and out – takes a toll on skin. Add in long showers and a dozen hand washes a day, and before you know it, skin is rough, flaky and itchy. Sometimes it even cracks, which really hurts. Your hands and face are the most exposed to the elements so they deserve extra TLC in the winter. Keep skin healthy and moisturized with these seven secrets for softer skin.
7 Dry Skin Remedies
1. Exfoliate + slather
Yes, you still need to exfoliate in winter. Use a gentle scrub or an exfoliating ingredient like milk (lactic acid) or aloe vera to to remove those flaky dead skin cells. After exfoliating, generously apply moisturizer; you’ve broken down your skin’s barrier and emollients can absorb better. To keep lips smooth, brush them a couple of times a week with a soft toothbrush or scrub gently with brown sugar scrub.
2. Up your moisturizer
Add moisture to your face by layering skincare (serum or oil then moisturizer) and doing weekly hydrating masks with honey or avocado. Slather on a thick body butter after each shower or bath. And if your hands and feet have painful cracks, the best time to heal is overnight. Apply a thick emollient and wear gloves or socks so the moisture can absorb all night long.
It might be controversial, but I still turn to thick emollients like Vaseline and Aquaphor for super dry skin. Generally regarded as safe (EWG gives it a 1), Vaseline finally did the trick on a super bad case of chapped lips my son had had for months. New Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Spray Moisturizer is fragrance-free, fast-absorbing way to fight bad cases of dry skin. If you’re a purist, you can turn to products with coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter or beeswax to seal in moisture.
3. Change up your soap
Hands take a beating in the winter with all that extra hand washing. They produce the least amount of protective oil so help your hands by switching to a foaming antibacterial hand soap that moisturizes while it cleans and keeping a lotion by the sink to apply while hands are still damp. Switch to a moisturizing body wash in the shower and a gentle cleanser like this honey wash for the face.
4. Shower smart
Long showers and baths strip skin of its natural protective oils. Limit time in the shower or bath to 15 minutes and go for lukewarm instead of hot water. If you can’t live without a long soak, add a generous helping of coconut oil to the water. Switch to showering at night if possible so your body can replace its oils while you sleep.
5. Add moisture to the air
With the heat running and fireplace burning, the air in your house becomes super dry. You can check the humidity level with a humidity gauge; if it’s below 30 percent you might want to invest in a humidifier, especially at night. Having one on the bedside table can do wonders for dry noses! Or try a DIY humidifier that also adds a pleasing scent to the air.
6. Add good fats to your diet
7. Drink up!
Yes, the most obvious route to moist skin is drinking more water. Shoot for 64 ounces of water, tea or juice a day. I know, it’s tough – here are our favorite hydration hacks to make it a little easier. Cut back on caffeinated beverages and alcohol as they have a diuretic effect.
This post is in partership with Vaseline.2