During the winter months our skin is exposed to a less humid environment and cold temperatures. Outdoor activities can also expose skin to wind, as well as cold. These factors can lead to dry and cracked skin making it more prone to itch, discomfort and rash. Below are some great tips for keeping your skin in great condition despite the elements:

  • Avoid very hot showers.
  • Use cleanser only in essential areas and avoid on arms, legs.
  • For a very gentle cleanser try CeraVe cleanser or Cetaphil Restoraderm body wash.
  • Moisturize your skin with a thick cream immediately following a bath or shower.
    • A barrier cream containing ceramides such as CeraVe cream or lotion replenishes factors in the upper layer of skin that helps your skin hydrate naturally from within. You will need to use CeraVe cream for 7 – 14 days to see a significant difference over regular moisturizer but then the increase in skin hydration is significant.
  • Drinking water will not hydrate your skin – this must be done with an applied moisturizer.
  • For really dry skin and hands, moisturize more frequently than once a day.
  • Looking to lock in moisture? Try Dr. Rostan’s ‘Soak and Grease.’  Apply a thick ointment while skin is still damp/wet from shower or soaking bath (i.e., CeraVe ointment, Vaseline or Aquaphor) then put on cotton PJs or tights and a tee to hold in the moisture.  Works wonders!
  • For cracked skin, apply Elta moisturizer, Aquaphor or petrolatum or Vaseline.
  • Before outdoor activities, apply a barrier cream such as CeraVe, Elta or Avene Cicalfate. Afterwards, use SkinCeuticals Hydra Balm to relieve irritated skin.
  • Put a humidifier in your bedroom.

Keeping your skin well hydrated in the winter can keep it healthy, soft and itch free!