Winter is finally upon us. While winter means awesome things like holidays, hot chocolate, and snow sports, the change in climate also comes with one bummer of a caveat: dry skin.
That’s right. You may have already noticed your skin tightening immediately after a hot shower, the appearance of rough spots on your skin, or even itchy, flaky patches of dead skin.
Dry skin is nothing if not uncomfortable, and can leave you continuously wanting to apply buckets of your favorite moisturizers and lip balms just to get some relief.
To help you stay comfortable this season, here are some smart ideas on how to nurture the natural oils on your skin and prevent dry skin.
Stop showering, bathing, and washing so much (especially in hot water)
Your first instinct when you’re feeling cold and dry may be to hop in a steamy shower or hot bath. However, increasing the amount of time you spend in warm water can strip the skin barrier of healthy oils, leaving your skin itchy and dry.
Think about it. When is the last time you scrubbed your hands excessively out of fear of a germ attack?
Let me tell you about my most recent experience. I got hit last month with a double whammy for a germaphobe. Whammy one: our family got a puppy (cute, but germs). Whammy two: everyone in my family got the stomach flu (not cute, lots of germs).
In an effort to combat the excessive amount of microbes floating around my house, I washed my hands with an antibacterial soap excessively (practically a million times a day). The good news is I didn’t get sick. The bad news is my hands were so dry from all the washing, they were cracked and bleeding.
Cracked and bleeding, I say!
You probably won’t shower or bathe to the point that your skin is cracked and bleeding, but this example gives you a small peek into the science at work when you shower too often.
Too much hot water strips the outer layer of skin of the critical healthy and naturally moisturizing oils, leading to overly dry skin.
Interestingly enough, too much washing
, especially with harsh antibacterial soaps like the kind I was using, can even kill good bacteria that help build immunity. In fact, The American Academy of Dermatology
advises that young children bathe only about once or twice a week to allow their immunity to harmful bacteria to build up.
So, what do you do instead?
Instead of showering every day, try showering every other day or every two days.
If you absolutely feel the need to bathe every day, don’t completely submerge yourself in water every day. Instead, wash your especially stinky parts (pits and privates) with water or a doctor-developed, natural soap. Ahem...wash with natural soap by Lume
Take a gander at the ingredients you are putting on your skin
It doesn’t matter what you put on your skin, right? All skin and body products are created equally, right?
Wrong and wrong.
If you are in the habit of purchasing just any shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, deodorant, or cream, then it’s time to make some changes.
There are several reasons why various companies use harmful ingredients in their skincare products.
For example, sodium lauryl sulfate is a popular ingredient in soap and shampoo because it foams, even if it doesn’t moisturize.
Synthetic fragrances are prevalent in many skincare products because they smell good, even if they can cause adverse skin reactions.
Aluminum is popular in deodorants
because of its antiperspirant properties. Nevermind that aluminum can make your skin itch
and dye your clothes (no thanks, yellow armpits).
Baking soda is another popular ingredient in skincare products. However, baking soda
can throw off your skin’s healthy pH level. When the pH level of the skin is off, the skin can lose its natural, oily protective barrier. And, when this happens, you already know the result is dry, cracked skin that is uncomfortable and can even let in infection.
If you’re looking to keep the healthy oils on your skin, preserve the natural pH of your skin, and prevent dry skin, then turn the bottles of your favorite skin products around and look at the labels.
Here are the main culprits to avoid:
- SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)
- Artificial dyes
- Baking soda
- Synthetic fragrances
Everything you put on your skin—from the soap you use in the shower to the deodorant you apply after you shower—makes a difference in the hydration of your skin. Look for products with ingredients that are naturally-derived
Be mindful of the way you bathe and shower
Even if you limit the number of showers and baths you take in a week, you’re not going to get rid of showering altogether. Thankfully, for the benefit of your social life.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t make some changes in the way you shower.
We’ve already talked about how important it is to select the skincare products you use with care. When you throw out soaps that contain harmful ingredients in favor of natural soaps, you are one step closer to soft, supple, moisturized skin.
It’s also worth mentioning that a little bit of soap goes a long way. That’s right. You don’t have to apply soap to every part of your body to get clean. You really only need soap to wash parts that are noticeably smelly at the end of a long day or after an intense workout.
It’s also critical to avoid damaging the skin. Wash gently with your hands instead of abrasive body washing tools. Stay away from scrub brushes, harsh washcloths, and bath sponges. If you’re set on using one of your favorite body washing tools, then opt for the most gentle tool and apply a light touch while washing.
Finally, let’s say you’re human, and you skipped your daily workout. On these days, consider skipping soap altogether while you’re in the shower. Instead, apply a small amount of hypoallergenic Lume deodorant to your underarms and private parts post-shower.
This approach ensures you get a quick shower to wash off the grime, provides a way for you to avoid products that may damage your skin, and allows you to apply an effective deodorant that can keep you smelling fresh for up to 72 hours.
The winter can be a time where you enjoy the holidays and winter activities to its fullest. That is, you can enjoy them without worrying about keeping your skin hydrated.
When you take the time to reevaluate how often you are showering, throw out products and tools that are damaging your skin, and replace your skincare products with doctor-developed, natural products, you’ll be able to keep your skin protected and hydrated.
For more information about natural skincare deodorants and soaps, check out Lume
today. Woman photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.com