Dry, itchy skin can sometimes be intolerable. It can occur any time during the year. But most people suffer dry, itchy skin issues in winters. Read on here why the skin tends to be very dry and scaly in winters and how to treat dry and itchy skin, including hands, feet, body, face and lips year-round.
Your skin may get dry and itchy even when you are staying at home. It can happen because of many household skin irritants, including cleaning products, floor polishes, air fresheners, and laundry detergents, just to name a few. These products deplete vital moisture and natural oil (sebum) off your skin, causing dryness and itchiness. And some times dry skin can lead to more serious skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis.
Why Do You Suffer From Dry Skin in the Winter?
In winter season low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds strip skin of its natural lipid layer that saves your skin from drying out. The dry air from cooking devices and other heating sources also draw the moisture out of skin. To maintain your skin soft and supple, the best way is to retain moisture in your skin, rather than to add moisture to skin. Try these tricks to help retain or infuse moisture in your skin:
Practical Tricks To Help And Treat Dry Skin
1. Use Lukewarm Water, Not Hot: Hot water strips moisture off your skin resulting into dry skin conditions, thus it’s best to shower in lukewarm water. In case you can’t follow this tenet — simply because due to winter days that I cannot – then keep your showers short and consider showering only once a day. Remember hot, hot temperature – whether hot showers or hot tubs are torture on dry skin.
The same dictum applies to hand washing: Wash your hands in lukewarm, never-never in hot water.
2. Moisturize After Showers or Hand Washing: If you feel your skin feels tight and stretched, it’s an indication that your skin is thirsty – so you need to add some moisture. For those who like to use natural treatments, here are some best natural moisturizers.
3. Layer Creams Over Oils: In case you have extremely dry skin, follow this super dry skin tip. Apply body oils such as organic coconut oil or sweet almond oil, and then when that’s soaked in, apply a cream. Reason: Body creams generally work to keep moisture in, but they don’t add moisture to the skin like oils do – so you need to add moisture onto the skin, which oils can do better.
4. Exfoliate Once Or Twice A Week: Moisturizer works better on properly exfoliated skin. Learn here how to exfoliate your skin correctly. Use a good quality scrub in the shower and exfoliate your face with a mild facial scrub once or twice a week.
Here’s a trick, which I use during winter months. Apply extra virgin coconut oil on your freshly cleansed face. Use a warm, moist washcloth to massage the oil into your skin. This serves dual purpose, exfoliating as well as moisturizing the skin. If you like, use this trick on your body too. Another super-duper tip is to add in a little sugar or salt to the oil to make your own homemade scrub.
Another helpful trick is to try dry brushing your skin just before you shower to relieve even the exceedingly dry skin. Vivianne Varcia-Tunon of ESPA spas has been quoted in the Allure magazine as saying: “If you dry-brush on a daily basis, you’ll probably notice a difference within a week–especially if you follow it with moisturizer”.
Here is a homemade body scrub recipe: Simply combine 2 parts sugar (or salt) and 1 part oil of your choice (extra virgin coconut oil is my favorite – you can even use extra virgin olive oil), and massage into your skin in a circular motion. Rinse off in shower.
Here are the best homemade sugar scrub recipes.
5. Use a Facial Mask for Dry Skin: You don’t have to spend hefty amounts on a facial mask or a facial at a spa. Make your own facemask for dry skin by simply using natural ingredients. Get the recipes here.
6. Ditch The Drying Soaps: Soaps can play havoc on dry skin. Better is to use a creamy moisturizing cleanser that contains glycerin or petrolatum for your body. For the face, opt for cleansers that are meant for dry skin. Consider using a type, which you can wipe off without using water, because your tap water may contain harsh minerals.
Natural Beauty Tip: Avoid using bubbles bath as it may contain harsh foaming ingredients.
7. Baby Care Your Hands: Your hands and feet can suffer badly due to dry, itchy skin. Apply moisturizer and wear gloves before you head outdoors in harsh winters. A useful trick is to smear your feet with thick moisturizer and sleep wearing cotton socks at night.
8. Dry, Cracked Heels Care Tips: Dry, cracked feet can play a spoilsport even if you are one of the most beautiful gals. To soften your feet, cover them in a thick moisturizer, wrap in Saran, and then put on a pair of socks for a few hours. Sit or lie down and relax while the moisturizer soaks in. This dry skin treatment can be done on your hands, except that you will have to use plastic bags and keep hands in a pair of socks. Half an hour should be enough. You can use these treatments overnight also.
9. Don’t Miss Your Lips: Avoid licking your lips – don’t think it will moisturize them; rather it will dry them out more. Lips can retain less moisture than any other part of your body, thus they have tendency to dry out faster. Try a simple lip balm. If you interested in a natural lip balm, here is a simple homemade lip balm recipe.
10. Facial Skin Care: For those who have super-duper sensitive skin our advice to them is not to use tap water for rinsing their faces, which can contain harsh minerals that are particularly drying to the skin. Consider using bottled spring water or use a cold cream like Pond’s to cleanse your face.
11. Fish Oil – True Friend Of Super-Duper Dry Skin: New studies have found that omega-3 fish oil pills can soothe extremely dry skin. Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known skin expert, has been quoted in Allure magazine as saying that the patients who took fish oil pills in a study were found to having significant results within a few weeks. As quoted in the study: “You can see, within six weeks, the skin, hair and nails improve markedly”.