Eczema acting up during Winter? Tips to protect against winter dryness
We often think about protecting our skin against the heat & the sun, but what about during the winter months?
We need to maintain our moisture all year round . The environmental stress such as cold winds along with super dry cold air will often weakened our skin’s ability to hold moisture which contributes to aging our skin. This can be a big factor especially for those who live in area’s where it is much colder.
For our skin to function at its best, it needs enough hydration. When skin is dry, it will obviously dry up, break down to rough, cracked and itchy skin. It will also be more susceptible to infections.
Apply Ointments instead of Creams during Winter?
Sometimes our creams don’t moisturizing enough as it is mainly water-based & has lighter consistency compared to ointments. Creams will either evaporate or be absorbed into the skin. However, I still say it is a better choice during winters than lotions.
Ointments are usually thicker along with the greasiness that may not be easily absorbed. It rather acts more as a shield while remaining on the surface of the skin prevent moisture loss longer than creams.
Having a skin balm or body butter may serve as an ointment therefore it will help more in preventing dryness. One of best natural skin balms I’ve used so far is LaVigne Mayan Magic Balm.
My detailed review on Mayan Magic Balm.
Limit shower time to 10 minutes & use gentle cleansers
Taking long showers will strip the natural oils in your skin. Try to take showers in lukewarm water. In addition, stay away from alkaline soaps & detergents. There is a saying that beautiful skin comes from balancing energies from the inside and out of body.
Most soaps are alkaline (because it is made of lye) where it can strip the essential oils in the skin. Alkaline soaps may also include dishwashing soaps & laundry detergent. Alkaline usually has a higher pH which can create an imbalance in the skin, promoting unhealthy skin.
Most dermatologists will tell you to use Dove soap because it is milder to other conventional soaps. However there are still some skin reactions to a minority of eczema sufferers due to low-hazard soap chemical ingredients. There are many soap options out there that are made naturally of oil that may suit some of you better. Although I have no problem with Dove so far, I suggest Soap works as another great affordable option from any health food store.
After Showering: Use a good moisturizer!
Once you are outta the shower or bath, apply moisturizer immediately to prevent water evaporation. I have given advice in choosing moisturizers. To make things short, look for non-comedogenc ones (won’t clog pores), and key ingredients like glycerin or urea which helps attract water to the skin boosting moisturizing effects. In addition, look for products containing lactic-acid or alpha/beta-hydroxy acid to help remove flaky old layer of skin.
According to dermatologist, Dr. Sunil Kalia and medical student Lawrence Haiducu, their tips in buying the right ones are:
• Look for one designed for dry skin containing petrolatum, shea butter, cocoa butter, cholesterol and silicones
• Avoid preservatives, dyes and fragrances to avoid skin irritations
• Use heavier formulation at night which can provide 8 hour protection while you sleep
Other Tips in fighting Winter Dryness:
Plain and simple just “Cover Up!”, to protect yourself from the extreme cold winds that Mr. Winter will blast upon you. Wear scarves around your neck & use parts of it to cover your facial area. For head protection wear your hoodie from your jacket, or put on a beanie/tuque. And don’t forget the gloves.
Also suggested is to apply sunscreen of at least an SPF of 30 during winter months to protect against ultraviolet rays (sun) that adds to skin dryness no matter what the season is. If you hate wearing sunscreen as I do during this time of year, simple cover up & wearing sunglasses to protect eye area is very beneficial. Yes if you can believe it, part of the eyes can get easily burnt compared to summertime since it is very white & bright! Sun rays bounces off the snow reflecting it more to the eyes which will not only causes “snow blindness” but increases risk of eye diseases including cancer.
In home environments, it may be a good idea to have a humidifier to balance out the exposed dry air from heaters.