During the winter, we always slather moisturiser on our legs, arms, and face. It’s as if our skin absorbs the moisture right away and we get habituated to reapply before we know it. Commercials featuring ladies dousing themselves in the latest cream and then caressing their flawlessly perfect skin give us the impression that moisturiser is the remedy to dry winter skin.
But here’s the catch: the term “moisturiser” is a bit misleading. Moisturizers hydrate the skin slightly, but their major function is to retain moisture. So, while selecting the correct cosmetics is an important part of the recipe, increasing your skin’s hydration—and avoiding habits that dehydrate your skin—are the essential backbone of a skin-care programme that can genuinely heal your dry, tight, itchy skin.
What causes some people to have dry skin?
Dry skin is caused not only by winter conditions, but also by a change in our skin’s top layer, or epidermis. This layer is generally thick with naturally occurring oils and fats that serve as a shield to help retain natural moisture irritants out of the skin. The most common cause of extremely dry skin is over-cleansing. The skin has a natural barrier made up of oil, water, and what are known as “natural moisturising factors.” Washing our skin with a cleanser, soap, or body wash removes all of the excellent skin hydrators.
Excessive hot water exposure can deplete the skin’s vital oils, causing inflammation and damage. If you do exfoliate, it’s critical to replenish your skin’s lost oils and moisture.
Because there is less moisture in the air during the winter, the water in your skin evaporates faster than it does during the humid summer months. This increases the likelihood of flaking, cracking, and peeling. Replace your lightweight lotions and moisturisers with a thicker ointment or cream that has higher levels of oil.
It could be hazardous.
During the winter, when indoor heating and dry air pull moisture from the skin, it’s easy to overlook dry skin. However, it can be difficult to tell whether dry skin is caused by the season or a symptom of a more serious condition. A lot of folks come in with psoriasis or eczema who thought it was just dry skin.
Excessively dry skin commonly causes skin weakening, which can lead to cracking or bleeding. This happens because when the skin is dehydrated, it loses elasticity and splits more easily when stretched or put under pressure.
Here are some measures you can follow to keep your skin healthy and smooth:
- A steamy shower feels nice, but the hot water is bad for your dry skin. The issue is that hot showers deplete your body’s normal oil barrier, which is necessary to trap moisture and maintain your earth warmer and moist. So turn down the heat and don’t linger too long. Experts in skincare advise taking short, warm showers or baths that last no more than 5 to 10 minutes.
- Shaving can cause irritation to dry skin. When you shave unwanted hair, you are also removing natural oils. To protect your skin, always shave with shaving cream or gel and shave in the direction the hair is growing. Check that the razor is sharp. A dull razor blade can irritate the skin even more. Replace your razor blades on a regular basis.
- Sun damage is a major cause of dry skin, wrinkles, and roughness. Wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and dressing appropriately can help prevent this damage.
- Olive oil is a great natural oil to use because it acts as a natural cleanser and moisturiser. Simply massage the oil into your skin before draping a warm, damp cloth over your face to cool it down and wipe away any excess oil.