It’s everyone’s dream in the dead of winter: to have dewy skin that’s immune to the effects of icy temps, whipping winds, and Sahara-like heating.
The air is frigid and dry outside, and any kind of indoor heat leaves skin even more parched. Your skin’s protective barrier cracks, making it less able to repair itself. It becomes a vicious cycle unless you do something to prevent it—or treat it fast.
Here, just in time: a guide to protecting your most moisture-starved parts so you can stay soft and smooth all season long, thanks to Health.com.
Smooth as you soothe
Extra-dry skin like on dry upper arms can trigger a flare-up of keratosis pilaris, that annoying rough skin. Try a lotion with salicylic acid to exfoliate dead cells around your hair follicles and reduce the appearance of bumps.
Handle with care
To prevent chapping parched hands, embrace wipe-off, soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitisers. They’re less drying than washing repeatedly with soap and water. It’s the wet-dry, wet-dry that really sucks the moisture out of your skin.
When you do wash, choose a moisturizing soap-free cleanser or a hydrating antibacterial gel, then slather on lotion right away.
Anything that creates an occlusive barrier (i.e., traps moisture) on skin helps lotions and creams soak in. So slip on some cotton gloves over lotion to help moisturize parched hands. Even wearing them for an hour can really soften up your skin
Just add honey
To soften stubborn dry patches on rough elbows and knees, opt for a rich, hydrating scrub. Use a simple mix of honey and sugar. Studies show that humectant honey reduces inflammation, and sugar (applied topically) increases circulation in skin.
This can be especially helpful in winter when blood flow is typically diverted from the skin to keep your core warm
For arms, legs, and torso, start with a rich bath oil or moisturizing body cleanser — something that leaves a creamy film on your skin.
Follow with a generous slathering of lotion once you’ve toweled off.
It’ll brighten your skin, and your moisturizer can penetrate better if you don’t have a 50-car pileup of dead cells.
Treat feet at night
For roughed-up feed, before bed, «gently buff away calluses with a hydrating scrub or pumice stone, and apply a thick, buttery moisturizer while feet are still damp,» Dr. Barba says. (If this doesn’t help, you may need an OTC or Rx cream containing glycolic acid or urea that exfoliates while it moisturizes.) Then wear socks overnight.
If you do that religiously for a month, the changes will be magical.
Keep showers short
A long, hot bath or shower might seem tempting when you’ve been out in the cold, but it will strip your skin of moisture.
If you like warmer showers—and who doesn’t?—keep them to no more than 10 minutes, and not more than once a day.
Pick the right PJs
The softer your sheets and sleepwear, the better, but you needn’t invest in silk. Tightly woven natural fabrics like cotton or cotton flannel are best for patients with sensitive skin or eczema.
One of our go-to products is Carita Lait de Beaute 14 — Ultra-Hydrating Comforting Milk Body which works from head to toe providing unmatched hydration to the skin all day. Infused with Shea butter and vitamin E, this weightless oil keeps skin soft and protected from environmental aggressors and free radical damage. The texture melts into the skin for your most supple and silky feel yet.
Carita Lait de Beaute – Ultra-Hydrating Comforting Milk is a body oil for all skin types, but ideally works for dry, dehydrated skin. This luxurious body oil works all day long to keep moisture levels elevated and soothes stressed skin for long-lasting comfort. It is scented with the invigorating scent of ripe lemons for a boost to the senses.