1. Invest in a Humidifier
Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms in which you spend most of your time.
2. Lower the Thermostat
When it's cold outside, we normally want to turn up the heat. But forced or central heat can make the air in your house even drier. Try setting the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable setting — 68°F to 72°F. This will help maintain healthy skin.
3. Limit Shower Time and Temperature
It may be tempting to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin will be much better-served with a 5 or 10 minute shower (or bath), as the AAD suggests. You should also avoid using excessively hot water when washing your hands.
Washing your hands in cooler water appears to be as effective at removing germs as warm water and is less irritating to skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And if you're using a restroom air hand-dryer, use it just until your hands are damp rather than perfectly dry.
4. Opt for Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The wrong soap can worsen itchy, dry skin. Instead, opt for a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel. You can also prevent winter skin problems by using less soap overall, so limit your lathering to necessary areas, such as your hands, armpits, genitals, and feet.
5. Modify Your Facial Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
During the winter months, choose USDA certified organic cleansers, and apply toners and astringents sparingly, if at all. Many astringents contain alcohol, which can further dry your skin. When your skin is dry and itchy, the AAD recommends you stop using products that contain alcohol and fragrances in order to help skin retain its natural oils. At night, use a richer moisturizer on your face. You can try our USDA certified organic Whipped Coconut Green Tea Moisturizer. It’s made with green tea and coconut oil which are great for moisturizing the skin.
6. Moisturize Frequently, Especially Your Hands
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. "It's best to use a cream or ointment in the winter. Lotions are better in warmer, humid climates. And don't forget your hands,” says Dr. Stein Gold. Hand-washing, as the CDC notes, is vital, especially during cold and flu season. But, as Stein Gold points out, "constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating.”
Applying a hand cream after each washing can help, Stein Gold adds. She also recommends wearing waterproof gloves when washing dishes or cleaning around the house.
7. Apply Sunscreen — Even on Gray Winter Days
On bright winter days, snow reflects the sun’s rays — up to 80 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation — increasing your risk of exposure. That means whether you’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s just as important to be applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in the summer.
8. Wear Appropriate, Comfortable, Nonirritating Clothing
Many cold-weather fabrics can aggravate dry winter skin. "Keep wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin," Stein Gold says. "This can cause dry skin to get irritated and itchy."
Instead, wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials directly against your skin, and then pull on your heavier, warmer sweaters. Be sure to protect your hands from cold winter air with gloves or mittens, remembering to choose a pair that won’t irritate your skin. If you prefer wool gloves, put on cotton or silk glove liners first.
9. Remember to Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Sometimes when skin is very dry, it can be helped by foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil.
10. Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly to Avoid Itchy Skin
Wearing wet clothes and shoes can further irritate your skin and cause itchiness. If gloves, socks, and pants become wet, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.