Food Safety

Moisturize Winter Skin

If your skin feels more dry and itchy during the winter than it does during other times of the year, you’re not alone. Dry skin, called xerosis by skin care professionals, is a common problem, particularly during cold weather when folks tend to crank up the central heat. That nice, warm air generated by your furnace might leech the cold from your bones, but it also leeches the moisture from your skin.

Believe it our not, your bathing routine might also be a culprit when it comes to dry skin. Bathing can add moisture to your skin, at least temporarily. But soap, which is great for removing dirt, also removes the oily lipid layer from your skin, which is your body’s natural method of helping your skin retain moisture.

You don’t have to give up bathing in the winter to save your hide, but it might help to modify your bathing routine, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Start by turning down the temperature of your bath or shower; lukewarm water is less likely to dry your skin than hot water. And limit your bath to a maximum of 15 minutes. Avoid deodorant soaps, which are harsh and drying, and forego vigorous scrubbing with a washcloth. After you bathe, dry off by patting or blotting your skin, rather than rubbing with your towel, leaving some moisture on your skin.

While your skin is still damp, apply a good quality moisturizing cream to help lock in the moisture. These simple steps will go a long way toward alleviating dry, itchy winter skin.

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