Even though it’s not officially winter yet, my hands tell me that it is.
There you go, it’s dry skin.
Uncomfortably dry. Chapped. Flaking, cracking and generally…tight. Even though I wear rubber gloves when I wash dishes, and I wear gloves outside when the mercury dips low enough, and I apply hand lotion frequently… there you go.
The hands have stopped cooperating. And the lips, feet, heels, arms, legs…too many to count.
But hands aren’t the only things that suffer in the winter…so it goes for other areas of our bodies. Sure, your cheeks might be rosy, but your skin might not be feeling so aglow.
So I recently reached out to David Bank, MD, director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York to get some guidance and product recos.
What’s with all this dryness?
“During the winter months our skin is exposed to harsher environmental elements such as windy, cold and dry weather, and forced heat indoors which causes the skin to become dull and lackluster.”
It helps to hydrate.
“The best way to keep a bright complexion is to keep the skin hydrated. A product like SkinMedica’s Dermal Repair is full of antioxidants like Vitamin C and E as well as hyaluronic acid.” (Here’s SkinMedica’s full array of other fabulous and helpful products.)
“Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that draws in moisture and aids the skin to retain it more effectively. This particular ingredient can increase your sensitivity to the sun – so it is best to use it in the winter… when your exposure to the sun is not as high.”
Exposure to the sun is not as high in the winter. Insert my sounds of frustration here and reminder to self to do a post on seasonal affective disorder. SAD.
Scrub it, then let the moisture sink in.
Your skin might feel more fragile in the winter months, so take this advice lightly. As in, do it, but be gentle. As in, don’t scrub like you’re trying to get burned food off your favorite saute pan.
“If you apply moisturizer on a daily basis but still feel dry and itchy, it’s probably because you aren’t exfoliating your skin. Exfoliating removes the layer of dead skin cells that sits on the skin’s surface so moisturizers can penetrate the skin more effectively. This is the best way to ensure your skin actually absorbs moisturizer and gets the hydration it needs.”
Dr. Bank’s recommendation: Molton Brown Warming Eucalyptus And Ginger Body Scrub, which contains a mixture of eucalyptus oil, root ginger and exfoliating sea salts.
Banish the Bath Bubbles.
Wait, what? I love my baths.
“Bubble baths typically contain drying soap and alcohol, which strip your skin of moisture. Instead, it’s best to use a product that includes skin-soothing ingredients like honey, oatmeal or milk.”
Try using this instead : L’Occitane Honey and Lemon Delicious Bath hydrates and nourishes the skin with ingredients like honey and sunflower oil.
I once knew a woman who swore by her own homemade honey and milk-infused baths. I suppose you could try this, too. Or go to Buzzfeed for all kinds of DIY natural tips.
Oh, I almost forgot. About those dry hands?
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. And go to WebMD and read this.
Want more beauty tips? You might want to check these posts out, too: