Dry Winter Skin: Causes and Treatment

Winter weather can have a harsh effect on our skin. In addition to cracking, chapping, and redness more serious conditions can develop like dermatitis and eczema.

Causes of Dry Skin

Dry skin is a condition that affects millions of people all year long. The low humidity which is a result of our winter climate creates the perfect circumstances to dry out the natural oils in our skin cells more than any other time of year.

As we age, our skin produces less natural oils. These natural oils are essential to keeping our skin moisturized. With less moisture in our skin cells we notice fine lines, flaking, itchiness, roughness, and dry patches.

Treatment and Prevention Tips

Along with moisturizing your skin regularly, there are a few other tips to keep in mind to control the effects of winter weather on your skin.

- Long hot baths or showers;
- Prolonged exposure to cold weather;
- Skin products with alcohol; and
- Scratching or rubbing dry skin.

- Use a moisturizing lotion, cream, or oil daily;
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water to hydrate your skin cells; and
- Use non-drying soaps like Dove, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, or Aveeno.

Top Products to Moisturize Your Skin

There are hundreds of lotions, creams, and oils on the market designed to repair or prevent dry skin. Many come with extremely high prices as well as promises to turn back the clock.

But you don’t need to invest a small fortune in skin care products to adequately take care of your dry skin.

Here are some great skin care products that can be found at your local drugstore or big chain retailer like Target or Kmart.

- Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Body Lotion softens and smoothes dry cracked skin.
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion or Cream lubricates the skin and helps return its elasticity.
- Eucerine Dry Skin Therapy is great for very dry sensitive skin. It heals and protects your skin from exposure to harsh weather.
- Vaseline Petroleum Jelly provides a barrier to protect your skin while smoothing and softening at the same time.
- Curel Dry Skin Lotion relieves dry, itchy skin and discomfort associated with eczema. The brand offers specialized lotions for different areas of the body.
- Victoria’s Secret Hydrating Body Lotion contains natural ingredients like aloe, oat, and grapeseed to condition and moisturize your skin.
- Bath and Body Works Body Lotion contains natural extracts and oils to make your skin soft and smooth.

Home Remedies

Before you leave home to buy skin care products, go check your kitchen pantry. Inside you may find you already have everything you need to combat dry, flaky skin.

- Olive Oil has been used for centuries by people in the Mediterranean. It can provide you with radiant, smooth skin all year long.
- Castor Oil has been extolled by mothers for generations as a cure for stomach ailments. When applied to the skin, it provides instant and penetrating moisture to relieve your dry skin.
- Aloe Vera instead of buying expensive products with an ounce or two of this healing extract, you can get the same benefit by applying the gel straight from the leaves of the plant itself to relieve itchy, dehydrated skin.

Whatever lotion, cream, or oil you use to treat your dry skin, daily use is the key. Try moisturizing immediately after your bath or shower to help replace and lock in moisture. Apply liberally to problem areas at least twice a day too.

Remember, your skin will be as good to you as you are to it.

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