Tips to Relieve Dry Winter Skin

Northwestern Medicine
Dermatology January 24, 2012
Dry SkinCold, less-humid temperatures have invaded Chicago bringing with them the increase in tight, red, itchy and uncomfortable skin. While it can be difficult to keep your skin hydrated during the winter months, dermatologists say simple modifications to your daily skin care routine can help.

Jill Weinstein, MD, dermatologist at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group says your skin care routine should change with the season and offers the following tips to banish dry skin:
  • Moisturize your skin frequently – Don’t rely on your typical lotion to get you through the winter months. Creams offer more moisture than lotions; look for creams with ceramides which can help replenish the damaged skin barrier. Be sure to moisturize every time you wash your hands and get out of the shower and again before bed.
  • Shower then shave – Shaving can irritate dry skin. Men, shave after you get out of the shower. Women, save shaving for last while in the shower. This will give your pores time to open and your hair time to get softer. Be sure to always moisturize after shaving and change your razor often to prevent dull blades or a build-up of bacteria.
  • Choose breathable fabrics – Cotton and silk are good choices for the winter months because they allow your skin to breathe. When you wash your clothes, use detergents without dyes or perfumes.
  • Protect your lips – Licking your lips may provide short-term relief, but eventually your lips will dry out as the saliva evaporates. Help keep them moist by using an oil-based lubricating cream or lip balm made with petrolatum or beeswax and SPF.
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