Winter does a number on our skin. Luckily, spring is technically here, but winter's effects remain until the mercury climbs. With low temperatures, lack of humidity, wind and other wintery assailants, skin can look dull, red and even sport dry patches long after Father Winter makes his departure. To get skin back to its normal, moisture-balanced state (and to keep it as hydrated as possible year-round) try these dermatologist-recommended tips.
1. Use warm water, never hot. Though it feels amazing, hot water can strip epidermis of oils, making skin red and irritated.
2. Use a gentle, fragrance free cleanser that won't irritate dry skin.
3. Keep your baths or showers to no more than 10 minutes. Any longer, and again, your your skin's natural oils will be stripped away.
4. Moisturize the second you step out of the bath. The lotion or body butter will trap the residual moisture from your shower, keeping your skin softer and more hydrated than if you'd applied it dry. (Tip: Do the same with your hands: Apply hand cream to your hands right after washing to keep them soft and youthful.)
5. Moisturize your air, too. A humidifier is an easy way to add much-needed moisture to the air.
6. Avoid irritating skincare ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids and alcohol. These can make dry skin worse.
With a few changes and a little time, dry skin can transform from painful and chapped to vibrant and glowing.