Why do we get dry skin and what can you do? As the weather gets colder, many of us experience the unpleasant trials brought on from dry skin. Explore the biology of your skin and learn how to combat the effects of the cold with our helpful tips.
Why is skin dryer in winter?
Unfortunately, extreme weather is no friend to your skin. Hot or cold, your skin is vulnerable. Why is that?
Your skin is made up of three layers. The innermost layer is your subcutaneous fat, which provides insulation, energy storage, and shock absorption. Next there is your dermis. This is where your blood vessels, nerves, sweat and oil glands, and hair follicles reside.
The top layer of your skin is your epidermis. It has stacked layers of cells. Your older cells will eventually die and fall off by rising to the top of the cells. Your strateum corneum is made up of these dead skin cells, and may affect your appearance if the hydration of the layers below are low.
In winter, humidity is much lower both indoors and outdoors, and affects the water content in your skin. Your skin is porous, and water evaporates from it all the time. Wind and low humidity can accelerate this process. The result is known as the ‘winter itch’ or winter xerosis that causes flaking and cracks in the skin.
What can you do about dry skin in the winter?
There are several things you can do to help fight off the effects of winter. Our first tip is our most simple and most effective – drink lots of water. You need to stay hydrated. You can also use a humidifier indoors, which you can use to help hydrate your skin as well. Aim to keep the humidity levels around sixty percent to aid your skin.
It’s also a good idea to reduce your shower or bath time to only 5 or 10 minutes. Despite any chills, it’s better to use lukewarm water instead of hot water when you can. You should also adjust your exfoliation routine. Exfoliation can be a great way to remove the dead skin cells from the epidermis. It can improve the appearance of your skin, help to prevent clogged pores, and may increase your collagen production. You may want to only exfoliate once or twice a week during the winter to avoid compounding the effects of low humidity on your skin.
Be sure to pat or blot your skin when drying with a soft towel. Use a moisturizer as soon as you get out of the bath or shower while your skin is damp to help lock in moisture. Make sure that you don’t forget to moisturize after washing your hands as well. Our Lothantique Hand & Body Lotion is vegetable based, paraben-free and enriched with linseed, sesame, jojoba oils and cotton seed extract. It has a light texture that absorbs quickly leaving skin soft and moisturized.
It is also best to invest in a quality, natural soap like Lothantique’s triple-milled soaps. Avoid using artificial soaps and products with alcohol on your skin that will further strip away natural oils.
If your skin is especially dry, you can try our Dead Sea Land Mineral Mud with aloe vera. The black mineral mud is made from the erosion of layers of sedimentary clay from the mountains over thousands of years. The mud contains a high concentration of minerals from the Dead Sea. It provides a deep cleansing of impurities from the skin's upper layers, lifting away dead skin cells while stimulating cell rejuvenation and moisturizing the body.
Lastly, you should try to avoid using fabric softeners when doing your laundry, and refrain from wearing wools or other similar materials when your skin is especially dry that might further irritate your skin.
If all else fails, do your best not to scratch at any flaking skin. Your skin natural cycles and renews itself every 28 days. So be patient, stay warm and stay hydrated!
How does your skincare routine change in the winter? We’d love to hear from you.