Why Does Our Skin Dry Out in the Winter and What Can We Do About It?

By Hannah Jones on December 30, 2016

As winter weather approaches, so does the appearance of dry, flaky skin and rough scaly patches. But why is it so much worse this time of the year? Is there anything that can be done to ease the pain?

We’re here to share some tips to spare your face and hands from the fate of the winter winds!

Cold Air Doesn't Care

First, let’s talk about why the winter weather wreaks havoc on our skin. For one thing, cold air contains less moisture than warm air. When temperatures outside drop, the humidity level also decreases making the air cold and dry. This causes the water in our skin to evaporate more quickly leaving the skin dehydrated and tight which gives it that flaky appearance.

This issue can be combatted by applying a moisturizer daily to lock in water on your skin’s top layer.

Wicked Winds

The winter air is not the only thing giving your skin grief. The combination of dry, cold air and frigid winds are a recipe for cracked hands and rough, itchy patches. See, lipids, which are oily substances such as fat-soluble vitamins and triglycerides, control your skin’s moisture levels. Harsh winds can rid your skin of those lipids taking away that protective barrier, leaving your skin defenseless and free to dry out.

Stay Shady

It’s important to bundle up if you know you’re going to be out in strong winds. While a hat and scarf seem like a no-brainer, we often neglect one important solution: Sunglasses. Protect the delicate skin around your eyes with sunglasses even in overcast weather.  Plus, UV rays are still present in the winter, so you can never be too careful to protect your skin.

Speaking of sunglasses, we see a lot less of the sunshine and outdoors during the winter months. This can often lead to a Vitamin D deficiency, which in addition to being a cause for dry skin, can lead to other health concerns. This problem can be easily remedied with a Vitamin D supplement and more Vitamin D rich foods in your diet.

Forget the Fire

While bundling up by the fire or cranking the heat up in your home seems ideal on a cold, winter night, you could actually be doing more harm to your skin. Heat from your fireplace is considered dry heat which causes dead skin to build up quicker because of the lack of moisture. This is also the case if your home’s heating system has forced-air. Try using a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep to replenish some of that moisture in the air.

Curb the Caffeine

Lastly, while caffeine may be your brain’s best friend (especially in the mornings), it could your skin’s worst enemy. Caffeine is considered a diuretic which causes a dehydrating effect on the body, drying your skin from the inside out! Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and limiting your caffeine intake.

While all of these tips and tricks, can help fight the good fight against dry skin, nothing beats ultra-hydrating, medical grade skincare. To learn more about the state-of-the-art aesthetic product lines we carry, click here.

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