Though it might sound a bit overdramatic, maintaining soft, glowing skin during winter isn’t all that hard. Sometimes, a bit of a change in your daily beauty habits is all you’ll need. If you want to know more, then read on.
1.Why Do People’s Skin Dry Up or Even Peel During Winter?
Your body has a lot of mechanisms in place to help protect itself from the cold. While this can be helpful in situations where you have to survive out in the wilderness, it doesn’t do your skin much good if you want to maintain a healthy glow. Here are a few reasons why your body skin dries up during winter.
1.1 Slower Blood Circulation
It’s no secret that during winter, or even just regular cold days, your blood circulation slows down a bit. The reason for this is because whenever your body gets cold, your blood vessels constrict and become narrower, making the transport of blood less efficient. While this is meant to protect you during cold winter days by minimizing heat loss, it can lead to your body skin losing much of its ability to retain moisture.
With less blood travelling through your blood vessels, that also means fewer nutrients and oxygen reaching your skin. Fewer nutrients or less oxygen means your skin is not working in peak capacity, which includes its job of retaining moisture. Oil production is particularly hit hard, which helps immensely at keeping the moisture from escaping.
Less blood flow also means your skin is unable to get rid of any waste products that normally would be carried away by your blood, including free radicals. This prevents your skin from being able to produce healthy skin cells, which damages your chances of ever getting that healthy glow.
1.2 Reduced Humidity in the Air
Although you may experience snow during winter, the cold weather actually reduces the amount of moisture in the air. Generally, cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and not only that, but lower humidity actually makes the environment feel colder than it actually is. This then leads to your blood vessels constricting further, or it might even force you to turn on the heater, which also isn’t so good for your skin.
If the ambient air is cold and dry, it actually speeds up the evaporation process, making your skin feel drier and tighter than it normally is. It may even turn your skin a bit flaky. As a matter of fact, your skin’s ability to retain moisture is reduced by at least 25% during the winter months.
Osmosis is also a contributing factor at drying out your skin during winter. Your skin is very efficient at allowing moisture to pass through it passively. It’s a great mechanism if there’s moisture in the air, but it becomes a double-edged sword when the air is dry. Moisture will always travel where it is driest, and during winter, the air is usually a lot drier than your skin.
2.Signs That You’re Suffering from Dry Skin and Need Skin Care
Dry skin has a subtle effect on your body, but it’s very noticeable. The severity of the signs and symptoms of dry skin will vary greatly depending on your age and your overall health, but in order to catch them before they get worse, it’s important to be observant. Now that you know why your skin dries up during winter, let’s explore how you can tell if your body has dry skin and needs help.
Itching, or pruritus, happens when your body produces less oil, which means there’s nothing to protect you from irritants contacting your skin, such as dirt and some allergens.
When your skin dries up, you might feel it becoming a bit tighter and less soft. The same thing happens to anything that is dehydrated: it shrivels up. In some severe cases, the skin can have the same consistency as leather.
2.3 Flaking, Scaling or Peeling
Flakiness and scaling can also happen to dry skin. This basically happens when skin cells shrivel up and die due to the lack of moisture. It’s especially problematic if you’re suffering from an auto-immune disease, as it can exacerbate the issue due to stress.
2.4 Fine Lines or Cracks
When your skin loses moisture, it starts shrinking. This sudden change could cause your skin to produce fine lines or cracks. This can be a problem if the cracks start bleeding, which makes your skin vulnerable to infection.
As we’ve mentioned before, because dry skin produces less oil, your skin becomes a lot more vulnerable to certain irritants. These irritants can cause an allergic reaction to your skin, which shows up as patches of red. If there’s yellowish crust or pus showing up over these patches, then you may need to see the doctor.
3.Washing up or Bathing Properly
Immersing yourself in water is a sure-fire way to hydrate your body skin. Unfortunately, however, washing yourself improperly, or too much washing can actually cause more trouble for your skin. This is because while washing can help wash away any dirt or other irritants on your skin, you’re also washing away the nutrients and the oils that are beneficial for it as well. Here are some ways you do to help avoid this problem.
3.1 Bathe in Mild Water Temperature
We’ve already talked about how cold temperatures causes the blood vessels on your skin to constrict, restricting the amount of blood that can travel to your skin. A good way to counteract this is simply by soaking in warm water. The mild water temperature should be enough to encourage normal blood flow to your skin.
The warm temperature should also help your pores open up, allowing your skin to soak in as much moisture as possible.
3.2 Use the Right Body Cleansing Products
Because it’s so easy to over wash your body and wash away the beneficial stuff off your skin in the process, it’s better to simply replace whatever is lost than it is to try and prevent losing it. This is where body cleansing products come in. Some of these products contain vitamins and minerals that help encourage healthy skin growth all over your body. While others help with retaining moisture and keeping your skin soft and glowing.
Naturally, it’s still a good idea to do research on which products work best for your body skin. Each product has a unique effect on every individual, and sometimes, they can cause serious harm if you’re not careful of what you put on your skin.
4.Body Skin Care
Aside from bathing and washing yourself properly, there are other ways that can help you maintain a soft and well-moisturized skin in the coldest of weathers. Some of these treatments even have benefits beyond keeping your skin as healthy-looking as possible. Here are just a few of them
A good way to encourage the healthy parts of your skin to pop out is to simply rub off as much of the old, dead skin as possible. Morbid as this may sound, that’s basically what exfoliating is. Exfoliation not only removes the dry, dead skin to expose the fresh skin cells underneath, the act itself also improves blood flow to your skin.
There are two main ways you can go about exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves using a rough object, such as a washcloth or a cleansing scrub, or exfoliating substances, like sugar, salt or even ground coffee beans, to slough off the dead parts of your skin.
Chemical exfoliants on the other hand, use acidic substances in order to gently peel off the upper layers of your skin. Although chemical exfoliants are more consistent in their effects, their effects can be a bit more difficult to gauge, unlike mechanical methods, where you can apply as little or as much pressure as you want.
Moisturizing your skin is relatively easy, and the effects on dry skin is very noticeable. You can go about this by using the right types of lotions and moisturizers, or you can make some changes in your diet, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. It’s also a good habit to moisturize your skin immediately after washing your body, in order to minimize the amount of moisture that will escape your skin. If the dry air is particularly problematic for you, you can also make use of a humidifier.
4.3 A Day at the Spa
What could be better than treating your dry skin during winter? Having someone else to do it for you, of course! Visiting a spa has a lot of benefits, the least of which is that your skin ends up becoming soft and glowing afterwards. It’s also a great way to relax and spend time with your friends. If you are particularly prone to dry skin during winter, then spending time at the spa will definitely be worth it.