With winter comes dry weather, and with dry weather may come dry skin. The brisk air of these colder months often whisks away the moisture and natural oils from your skin, leaving it parched. As a result, you may notice your hands, knees, and other areas becoming irritated and even flaky. Thankfully, you can enjoy the upcoming holiday season without the annoyance of dry skin if you follow these four essential winter skin care tips.

Tip 1 – Maximize Skin Care

Left alone in the dry air, skin can lose a lot of moisture. To counteract this drying effect, replenish your skin often with moisturizing lotions, rubs, and oils. Adding a layer of sunscreen overtop your favorite moisturizer can also help. While enjoying a little sunshine is healthy in moderation, overexposing dry skin can worsen irritation. The best solution is to soak up the sun for a few minutes each day before applying sunscreen. That way, you can improve the softness of your skin and your vitamin D levels.

Tip #2 – Minimize Harsh Treatments

When we’re feeling dry, we know it’s best to treat our skin gently. Resist the temptation to scratch flaking skin and maybe even avoid wearing scratchy materials, such as wool. These precautions help parched skin heal – but did you know minimizing harsh treatments can help your skin from becoming dry in the first place? Strong exfoliants, detergent-laden soaps, and even very hot water all remove natural oils and moisture more quickly than gentler treatments. So, treat your skin gently this winter to preserve smooth and healthy skin.

Tip #3 – Get Plenty of Water – Inside and Out

When your skin moisturizes itself naturally, it draws water from inside your body, meaning that staying hydrated is what allows your skin to stay soft. How much water is necessary for winter skin care will vary from person to person. However, the general rule of thumb is a recommendation to drink 10-15 cups of water per day.

Turning on the humidifier can improve parched skin as well, because dry air encourages fast evaporation. So, maintaining mid to high humidity in your home (around 60%) will give your body a chance to rejuvenate your skin before it loses all of its moisture to the atmosphere.

Tip #4– Track Your Progress

After taking steps to prevent and treat dry skin, pay attention to what happens next. If you notice that your skin doesn’t show as much improvement as you’d like, you may want to increase the amount of care you’re giving it. In some cases, you may also want to consider visiting your doctor and/or dermatologist if dry skin persists despite your best efforts.

Dry skin during these colder months can be a drag on the holiday season, and parched skin is more vulnerable to cuts and other irritations. Thankfully, these essential skin care tips can help you get through the most wonderful time of the year with minimal itching and discomfort.

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