While the skin is covered up against the cold, it is still vulnerable to the effects of winter weather. Dry skin is usually caused when fatty oils are stripped away from the skin (either by environmental factors or something we’re doing to our skin) leaving the skin unprotected. Less often, the cause can be internal (a health issue or genetic predisposition) or a reaction to medicines.
The winter season brings one of the biggest causes of dry skin – dry air. Some doctors even refer to it as the winter itch when the dry air draws the moisture right out of the skin. Even if you’re indoors, the furnace produces enough dry air to cause your skin to dry out.
People also tend to take longer and hotter showers and baths in the colder weather which will wash away the natural oils that protect your skin. Soap is another enemy in the fight against dry skin along with an unexpected culprit, itchy clothing. As we pile on layers of synthetic clothing, the burrs and bumps in the fabric can rub our skin raw.
There are many ways to treat and prevent dry skin this winter and surprisingly, bamboo plays a role!
- Exfoliate! Over time, dead skin cells build up and become unresponsive to lotions. So before you lather on anything, you need to remove the barrier of skin cells. And bamboo is rapidly becoming an “it” ingredient in exfoliants. When ground up into micro pieces, the bamboo provides a smooth, soft way to exfoliate the skin. Check out Naturopathica Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub or Darphin Nourishing Smoothing Body Scrub!
- Moisturize while there’s still moisture! Get out of the shower, pat dry and then immediately apply lotion to trap the moisture on the skin.
- Speaking of showers, try to resist the temptation to stay too long in a hot shower. While we know it feels great in the cold weather, doing so will rapidly dehydrate the skin.
- Drink up! Add moisture from the inside out and make sure to get at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you’re still exercising during the winter (good for you!), drink more.
- Avoid irritating clothing. (And we don’t mean just looks!) Choose bamboo clothes for a soft, luxurious feel close to the skin with no fabric burrs that might chafe throughout your wear. And for all the little ones in your life whose skin is far more delicate, take advantage of this fabric with bamboo baby products that will keep their skin comforted and protected.
- Use humidifiers! It’s ironic that a lot of us spend the entire summer complaining about the humidity but then actively generate it in our homes and offices come winter, but that extra moisture in the air does a world of good for dry skin.
- Watch what you eat (and drink). Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and will suck the moisture right out of your skin so try to limit their intake. And make sure to increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids that will help replace moisture in dry skin and hair. These fatty acids can be found in cold-water fish, flax seed and walnuts.
Follow this tips and when summer arrives, your skin will be soft, glowing and ready for sunlight after a long winter’s nap!