As the weather gets colder and we start using indoor heating systems, we may start to notice our skin getting itchy and dry. Heating systems provide very dry air which can lead to dryness, and, in some cases, even cracked skin. Yikes!
Below are some simple steps that can help to relieve dry and itchy skin and leave you with more moisturized and glowing skin:
1. Limit baths and showers to only 5-6 minutes and only once a day. Make sure the water is not too hot. I know this may be difficult for some, but long periods under hot water will wreak havoc on our skin. It’s worth the sacrifice.
2. Use a MILD soap or cleanser for your skin instead of a deodorant soap. Gentle body cleansers that work pretty well for me that you may want to try: Dove Beauty Bar (like Unscented or the Nourishing Care Shea Butter Body Bar) or Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash.
3. MOISTURIZE! I cannot say this enough. Do this within the first few minutes of getting out of the bath or shower when skin is still damp to lock in moisture. PAT skin dry and then apply a light oil or body cream all over. Some of my faves: The Body Shop body butter; Vaseline Intensive Care Body Oil Gel; or my homemade whipped shea butter (60% raw shea butter, 20% coconut oil, 10% jojoba oil; 10% castor oil).
4. Consider a humidifier to add moisture into the air in your home. This will make the air less dry and alleviate some dry skin issues.
5. Protect your skin from the cold air when outside – where gloves, scarves, etc.
Last, but not least, another tip is to EXFOLIATE. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and allows products like moisturizers to penetrate the skin better, allowing you to get the most benefit from the product. It is best to exfoliate 1-2xs per week. You can do this using a body brush on dry skin, using an exfoliating glove while in the shower or bath, or you can use a body scrub. There are tons of exfoliating products out there from places like your local CVS or Walgreens, to supermarkets, to department stores. Or, you can make your own with ingredients from your kitchen (olive oil and brown sugar mixture is a great one!) Don’t overdo it – once or twice a week is perfect. You will notice a difference in the texture and overall health of your skin.