5 Tips for Spring Skin Care
We're almost there. Spring is just around the corner and you won't have to hear the words "polar vortex" for at least another six months. Before you know it, you'll be putting away the blankets and taking out the bathing suits.
With the warm weather on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about your complexion, which during the winter months tends to dry out, causing all sorts of issues.
Dry skin can lead to several forms of discomfort, including peeling, flaking, cracking, redness, and itching. In some cases, it can even lead to eczema flares. Fortunately, you can start doing damage control before bathing suit season.
If you've suffered from dry skin this winter, here are a few tips to help you revive your complexion and soothe that dreaded winter itch.
Hydrate from the Inside Out
The average adult human body is 50-65% water. You'd think this would leave us sufficiently hydrated, but that's rarely the case. Your body requires extra food and liquid to stay hydrated. Keeping your body hydrated can deliver several health benefits, including healthier skin.
Here are a few ways to help keep your body hydrated from the inside out:
- Drink lots of water
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables
- Eat healthy fats
- Cut back on salty and fried foods
- Take supplements
Use Oil-Based Moisturizer
One way to get rid of dry skin is to use moisturizer. Obvious as this solution may be, you shouldn't blindly slather on moisturizer whenever you feel like it. The type of moisturizer you use—as well as the amount and when you use it—plays an important role in its effectiveness.
Oil-based moisturizers have more staying power than creams and are more effective at helping your skin retain water. Regardless of the type of moisturizer, though, you can clog your pores if you over-moisturize, so you should only moisturize at optimum times.
The best times to moisturize include:
- After a shower or bath while drying off
- After washing your hands or face (keep a bottle near the bathroom sink)
Add Humidity to Your Home
Wondering why you feel scaly? That's due to a lack of humidity. Winter's frigid outdoor air and your home's dry indoor heat contain very little humidity, leaving your skin gasping for moisture.
Luckily, you don't have to wait for those sticky summer days for a dose of humidity. You can buy a humidifier for your home. Start with the bedroom, but it doesn't hurt to place a humidifier in other living areas as well. Humidifiers can also help with stuffy sinuses, which tend to act up during the seasonal shift.
Avoid Excessive Bathing
It seems a little ironic that standing in a shower or soaking in a bath would dry out your skin, but it does. While bathing removes the day's germs, it also wicks away your body's natural oils, which it needs to stay moisturized.
Of course, you can't avoid bathing altogether, but you can limit its negative effects on your skin by doing the following:
- Use warm water instead of hot
- Limit the time of each shower or bath (5-10 minutes)
- Avoid deodorant bars, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps, and skin care products containing alcohol
Make sure you dress appropriately when you go outside. While it's starting to warm up, we're still vulnerable to cool, windy days, which can strip away moisture and lead to complexion setbacks. Be sure to bring a jacket with you to protect your skin from the wind. This, along with the other tips listed above, will help you reinvigorate your complexion and give you a jump start on spring and summer once we finally thaw out.
Drexel Dermatology offers comprehensive services for all skin care conditions including skin cancer, cosmetic dermatology, moles and birthmarks, pediatric dermatology, and any other skin related concerns.
The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.
The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.
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