We can most certainly blame the cold winter air for our itchy flakey skin. As the cold weather sets in, we turn our heaters on and look forward to hot baths. To keep your skin looking and feeling soft and supple during the harsh winter months, follow these easy tips!

Hydrate on the Outside and Inside
We are familiar with slathering our skin with lusciously scented lotions, which may work in warmer weather, but not so well in the winter. Switch over to using balms from head to toe. Balms are thicker than lotion and moisturize as well as prevent moisture loss. Equally if not more importantly, drink more than your usual amount of water each day. Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside will reduce dry skin and itchiness.

Turn on the Humidifier at Night
Rather than just moisturizing with a balm at night, step up your routine by using a humidifier, too. This will put moisture back into the cold dry air so your skin won’t dry out and become dehydrated.

Avoid Hot Showers
It can be nearly irresistible to get into a steamy hot shower on a cold winter day. Even though this may feel nice, your skin won’t love it. The key to avoiding itchy dry skin is to take fewer, shorter and cooler showers. The rule of thumb for winter showers is that if you can see steam, then it’s too hot. Hot water will strip your skin of its natural healthy oils that protect it from becoming dry, leaving it vulnerable to itchiness. To help even more, limit yourself to one shower per day.

Use Moisturizing Soaps and Products
Avoid harsh soaps and body washes for the winter months. These products, like hot water, will strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to itchiness and in severe cases, cracked skin. When shopping for moisturizing soaps look for ingredients such as aloe and oatmeal. These will clean the skin while hydrating and nourishing. Avoid products with chemicals, fragrances and alcohol.

Get your heat from a hot cup of cocoa, not from heaters and hot showers!

By Dr. Nirali Patel