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This Is Why Your Skin Gets Dry in the Winter (And How You Can Prevent It)

Does winter leave your skin feeling dry, itchy, and irritated? Do you constantly experiment with different creams and moisturizers only to find your skin still flaky and red? Dry skin plagues many of us in the winter months, but it doesn’t have to be a losing battle.

To combat dry skin, you first need to understand what causes it. Let’s take a look at four reasons your skin dries out in the winter and what you can do about it.

  1. Dry Air
    Dry air sucks the moisture out of your skin, and it’s more common during the winter due to forced air heating systems.What You Can Do: We’re not recommending that you turn off the heat this winter, but bumping it down a few degrees may help. You can also use a humidifier in your bedroom (Bonus! A humidifier will combat dry sinuses, nosebleeds, and chapped lips as well).
  2. Long, Hot Showers 

    It may surprise you that those steamy luxurious showers can strip your skin of oils, leaving it dry and itchy—especially if you use harsh antibacterial soap.What you can do: We love long, hot showers too, but your skin will thank you for cutting back on your time in the water. Dermatologists recommend using lukewarm water instead of steaming hot and choosing short showers rather than long showers or baths.

  3. Moisturizer MisuseWhen your skin feels dry, you should slap on some moisturizer, right? It depends. The truth is that moisturizer doesn’t actually add moisture to your skin; it simply retains the moisture that is already there.

    What you can do: Apply moisturizer when your skin is damp. A good time is right after you get out of the shower, wash your hands, or cleanse your face. Choose a water-based moisturizer with no fragrance. Extremely dry skin needs a thick, greasy-feeling moisturizer to prevent moisture loss from the skin.

  4.  Dehydration 

    In the wintertime, we tend to opt for warm drinks like coffee or hot chocolate rather than a tall glass of cold water. But caffeine is a diuretic, which means it contributes to moisture loss. It literally dries your skin from the inside out.What you can do: Choose caffeine-free drinks like herbal tea if you want something to warm you up. When you do drink coffee or hot chocolate, follow it up with a glass of water.

Dry skin isn’t just unsightly; it’s also uncomfortable and if not treated, it can leave you with cracked, irritated skin. This winter, treat your dry skin with a few small changes to your skin care routine and enjoy fresh, glowing skin all season long.