Causes of Winter Dry Skin

Have you ever observed how the seasons affect your skin? If so, you may have observed that the colder winter months frequently cause your skin to become drier and flakier.

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Wintertime is when dry skin is more prevalent than summertime. The seasonal fluctuations in humidity and temperature can irritate the skin. The cold air, dried indoor heat, low humidity levels, and brisk winter winds can dehydrate your skin. The skin on your hands, feet, and other exposed areas of your body, may appear much less radiant than usual due to this.

The water content of the epidermis, the top layer of skin, tends to reflect the humidity surrounding it, making wintertime a particularly problematic period for skin because of the low humidity levels both outside and inside.

During the winter, many people can develop dry skin, and the severity of the symptoms can vary considerably. Several therapies can restore the skin's moisture and alleviate discomfort. Additionally, certain steps can be taken to avoid having dry skin.

This article examines the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of dry winter skin in detail.

Causes of Winter Dry Skin

Wintertime variations in humidity and temperature produce the ideal environment for xerosis or dry skin.

The epidermis is the skin's outermost layer. The stratum corneum, commonly known as the skin barrier, is the thin outer layer of the epidermis. The skin barrier is composed of lipids and dead or dying skin cells. A layer of defense called the skin barrier keeps hazardous substances from entering the body. The skin appears dry or itchy when the skin barrier is compromised.

The skin barrier needs moisture to function properly. According to research1, the skin's moisture content and the amount of lipids in the skin barrier are lower in winter than in summer. These variations cause dryness and discomfort. Dry skin is a result of water loss from the epidermal layer of the skin. It could be caused by the following:

1.    Hard Water Might Hinder the Absorption of Moisturizers

Hard water, as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey2, is tap water that contains a lot of heavy  metals or minerals. On the skin, such minerals may leave a coating that makes it dry. Heavy metals cause the skin's natural oils to thicken, clog glands, aggravate skin problems like acne and rosacea, and stop moisturizers from penetrating the skin. For Disease Control and Prevention3, purchasing a home filtration system—whether a whole-house system or one that attaches to the faucet—can be beneficial. Vitamin A and C-containing skin care products are also advised since they work to remove the layer left behind by hard water.

2.    The Skin and Scalp May Lose Moisture After Using Soap

Many shampoos, soaps, and detergents remove moisture from your skin and scalp since they are designed to remove oil. It's crucial to select laundry detergents, body washes, and face washes with care. It is preferable to use a gentle body wash rather than a strong bar soap. When you scrub and exfoliate your skin with harsh chemicals, you risk depriving it of moisture and making it dry. Long-term usage of such products significantly reduces the skin's natural oil production.

3.    Skin Irritation Could Be Caused by Fragrance

The fragrance has the propensity to aggravate dry skin or make it worse, so try to avoid deodorants and skin care products containing fragrance. It is because fragrance is a common reason for allergic contact dermatitis. According to the Cleveland Clinic4, it could take many exposures for the skin to respond, or you might notice a reaction immediately.

4.    Dry Air, Indoors or Outside, Can Boost Dry Skin Symptoms

Occasionally, indoor air can be just as harsh on your skin as outdoor air. Heat and forced air, in particular, can lower humidity levels, causing the skin to feel dry and irritated. People frequently turn up their interior heating during the winter, including fireplaces, space heaters, wood stoves, and central heating. They all lower humidity and decrease the amount of moisture accessible to the skin. The body is abducted because the environment's humidity is reduced by the dry heat coming from these sources.

In addition, the hard winds, rain, and chilly temperature outside can deplete the skin's natural oils that keep it moisturized.

5.    Long, Hot Showers Can Lead to Dehydrated Skin

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Spending a lot of time soaking in steaming water could be tempting, particularly in the winter. However, the procedure could end up causing skin problems. Long, steamy showers or baths might cause the moisture in your skin to dry up. Taking more than one bath every day may also eliminate the natural oils from your skin. If you frequently swim in chlorinated water, the same thing can happen.

Hot baths or showers can also harm the skin's surface and cause dryness, according to the Baylor College of Medicine5. Try keeping showers to no more than five minutes and maintaining warm, not hot, water temperature. After getting out of the shower, use a moisturizing cream within a minute. According to MedlinePlus, moisturizers function best when applied to damp skin6.

6.    Aging Can Boost Skin Dryness

As people age, dry skin usually becomes more of a problem. The skin becomes thinner and produces fewer of the oils essential for the skin to retain water as people age and becomes drier. According to the Mayo Clinic7, those aged 40 and older have a greater risk of developing dry skin, which affects roughly 50% of people in this age bracket.

7.    Living In a Cold, Windy, Or Low-Humidity Climate Can Cause Skin Dryness

If you reside in an area that gets really cold, your skin may become dry. Low temperatures can immediately impact the skin, even in temperate regions. Winters can cause the skin to become dry, fragile, and prone to peeling. Due to the lack of humidity in the air, those who live in desert areas throughout the year also suffer from dry skin.

Winter Dry Skin Symptoms

Wintertime skin barrier breakdown that leads to dryness can result in the following:

  • The scaliness or flakiness
  • Redness
  • Scratchy texture
  • Itchiness
  • Inflamed, raw skin
  • Blistering or stinging

Depending on the part of your body that is affected, symptoms can vary in severity and appearance.

How To Treat Winter Dry Skin?

Skin that is dry and damaged needs to have its moisture levels replenished. Using a moisturizer is the easiest technique to rehydrate the epidermis and stop water loss from the skin. In general, oily, thick moisturizers without scents are the best choice. Thinner lotions, creams, and gels can sting when applied to skin that has been inflamed.

Harmony's Plantain Salves can also be very beneficial in treating winter dry skin as it is specially made for skin rashes, irritation, and dryness. It can significantly lock in moisture and lessen moisture loss via the skin's surface, preventing dry skin8.

The following are some natural ways to get relief from winter dry skin:

1.    Petroleum Jelly

People have used petroleum jelly, sometimes known as mineral oil, as a moisturizer for years. Researchers discovered in 2017 that using petroleum jelly enhanced the skin barrier in older persons9. This research demonstrates the efficacy of petroleum jelly in treating dry skin, particularly when it results from aging.

2.    Coconut Oil

A natural oil that works well for treating dry skin is coconut oil. According to a 2014 study10, coconut oil is just as secure and reliable for treating dry skin as petroleum jelly. In addition to increasing the amount of lipids (fats) on the skin's surface, it was discovered to improve skin moisture greatly.

According to a 2016 study11, coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids with emollient qualities. Emollients are fats or oils that work as moisturizers by smoothing down rough, dry skin by filling up its cracks.

3.    Aloe Vera

According to a 2003 study, aloe vera gel may aid in reducing the symptoms of dry skin12. Applying aloe vera gel and covering the affected region with a sock or glove will help you with dry skin on your hands or feet. It could be preferable for you to do this before going to sleep and leave the gel on all night. If you have dry skin on another part of your body, try generously applying aloe vera gel and letting it soak in for a similar result.

According to a prior study, it can even lessen the appearance of age and acne outbreaks by reducing redness and irritation brought on by excessive dryness13.

4.    Oatmeal Bath

Another all-natural remedy for treating dry skin is oatmeal. Oatmeal-based lotions or adding the oatmeal powder to a bath can also help treat dry skin. Oatmeal extracts were discovered to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in a 2015 study, raising the possibility that it may be used to treat dry skin14.

5.    Honey

Certain studies have indicated that honey is helpful for various skin conditions15. Honey is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and healing. All of these characteristics imply that honey is a great remedy for dry skin that can be used at home. It can be used on the skin directly and is entirely natural.

Tips To Prevent Dry Skin in Winter

You might be able to keep your skin looking smooth, soft, and vibrant all winter long by making a few adjustments to your skincare routine and habits and utilizing the right products.

To help your skin maintain moisture, try these tips:

1.    Moisturize Your Skin Right After Washing

Your skin loses its natural oils whenever you wash your hands, face, or body. Replace these oils frequently because they aid in retaining moisture. Because of this, it's crucial to hydrate your skin after every wash, especially in the winter.

Try keeping a jar of Harmony's Plantain Salves next to your sink as a handy reminder, and carry a travel-size moisturizer with you when you're out.

2.    Use ŐSIMAGNESIUM CBD Cream To Moisturize Your Skin

To moisturize, revitalize, and nourish the skin, use ŐSIMAGNESIUM CBD Cream. Apply it on your face after cleansing in the daytime. It enhances the moisture of your skin. It enters the skin's epidermal layer through the pores and is absorbed there. Additionally, it keeps the pH balance of your skin, enhancing its radiance. Shea butter, a component of this cream and an important natural moisturizer, has a consistency similar to butter and is so silky when applied to the skin. It absorbs into the skin with incredible ease and doesn't leave a greasy aftertaste. 

3.    Ensure Internal Hydration

Maintaining a healthy level of hydration throughout the day is crucial to keeping healthy and beautiful skin16. Your skin can look different and become more prone to drying out if you don't drink enough fluids.

You should also pay attention to consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and remaining well-hydrated. Both of these nutrients can help your body produce healthy cells, including skin cells, and shield your cells from harm caused by the environment.

4.    Daily Apply Sunscreen

It can be tempting to skip using sunscreen in the morning due to the shorter winter days and less sunlight but resist the urge. Your skin's moisture barrier, essential for preserving skin health and hydration, can still be stressed by harmful UV rays even in the winter. After using a moisturizer in the morning, try adding a layer of sunscreen17.

5.    Use A Humidifier

When indoor heating is turned up in the winter, humidifiers can be extremely beneficial in replenishing moisture in the air and rehydrating skin's outer layer. More moisture in the air can serve as a natural moisturizer, preventing and alleviating skin dryness in the process. In the winter, a humidifier set at 60% can restore moisture to the top layer of your skin, according to Harvard Health Publishing18.

6.    Choose Non-Irritating Fabrics

Avoid wearing harsh fabrics whenever you have skin issues of any kind. Dry skin is also not an exception. To lessen the chance of additional physical irritability, try dressing in loose, comfortable, natural fabrics if the skin on your body is particularly dry.

Don't wash your items in conventional detergents, either. Look for detergents designed for delicate skin that are likely free of harsh chemicals and scents.

The Bottom Line

In the winter, most people typically experience dry skin. Although it could be painful, it is easily manageable using moisturizers. You may take the essential precautions to avoid this painful experience by being aware of the skin barrier and what it requires to remain healthy. The secret to maintaining good skin is frequently moisturizing it with the correct products like Harmony's Plantain Salves and ŐSIMAGNESIUM Natural Products.

If dry skin persists over a prolonged period regardless of the weather, the underlying cause may be significant. See a doctor right away if you notice any flaking or scaling on your skin.

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