Winter can be rough, with its chilly temperatures, gusting winds, and occasional snows. You might not want to go outside much and when you do, you’ve got to bundle up. If you’re feeling the winter blahs, just imagine how your skin must feel. Those winds, cold temperatures and other signs of unpleasant winter weather can be hard on your skin, too.
Many people notice dry, dehydrated skin in the winter. Skin that’s usually fine or problem-free might start breaking out or developing dry patches. Dehydrated skin can be tricky to deal with, but it’s not impossible to fix. The trick is figuring out what’s going on with your skin and taking steps to change any factors that might be contributing to its dehydration.
Is There a Difference Between Dehydrated Skin and Dry Skin?
Before you start solving the problem of dehydrated skin, it helps to understand the difference between dryness and dehydration. It all comes down to the source of the problem. Skin that’s dehydrated isn’t getting enough water. Skin that’s dry doesn’t produce enough oil. It’s possible to have normal or oily skin that’s dehydrated. It’s also possible to have skin that’s both dehydrated and dry.
Although the cause of dry skin and the cause of dehydrated skin is different, there are some similarities between the two. For example, if you have dry skin, you’re likely to notice that it feels tight. Dry skin can turn red easily, look scaly or rough, and feel itchy. The same is true for dehydrated skin. Both dry and dehydrated skin can also be extra sensitive.
Why Does Skin Get Dry in Winter?
What is it about winter that can dehydrate skin? A bunch of things. One of the culprits is dry air. Humidity levels tend to be lower in the winter than in the spring or summer. Certain factors can also dry out the air even more. For example, your home’s heating system might be turning your house into a mini-version of the Sahara desert–something your skin might not enjoy too much.
Hot water can also dehydrate your skin in the winter. Although taking a hot shower or relaxing in a hot bath can be soothing in cold weather, the heat of the water is most likely driving moisture from your skin. Although not a factor that’s limited to winter, your diet might also play a role in dehydrating your skin. If you’re not drinking enough fluids or if you’re not eating a diet that contains enough fat or oils, your skin might become parched. Drinking alcohol and taking certain medications can also dehydrate your skin.
How to Hydrate Your Skin in the Winter
The first step to figuring out how to hydrate your skin during the winter is figuring out what’s zapping it of moisture. You can then take steps to correct the problem. For example, if the air inside your home is super dry, you can try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. If you love taking long, hot showers, you can try cutting down on the time you spend in the shower and lowering the water temperature a bit. Dietary changes can also help. Try cutting back on alcohol and adding more sources of healthy fats, such as avocado, to your diet. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Caring for Dehydrated Skin in Winter
Dehydrated skin needs proper care for the best results. Your winter skincare regimen might need to include using products that restore moisture to your skin, such as heavy creams and lotions. It can also mean treating specific concerns, such as acne breakouts or rosacea.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to caring for dehydrated or dry skin, Dr. Paul Vitenas and the staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, can help. We offer a variety of medical-grade skin care products and non-invasive treatments to help your skin look and feel its best. To learn more, call 281-810-9083 for a consultation today.