Winter brings the good, the bad and the ugly. It offers the good of the holiday season, when friends and family gather and spirits are merry. It offers the bad of the busyness of this time of year. And it brings the ugliness of dry skin. When the temperatures drop and the nights get longer, drier air comes, too. When you’re prepping for holiday parties, the last thing you want to have to worry about is dry, itchy skin. Fortunately, you can do a few simple things at home to make a big difference. Here are four changes you can make at your house or apartment to fend off dry skin and stay comfortable all winter.
Stock your bathroom
It should come as no surprise that one of your greatest weapons in combating dry skin this winter is moisturizer. Make sure your bathroom is readily stocked with options for you, your family and your guests. Damp skin has an easier time absorbing moisture and locking it in, so make it easy to grab some lotion right after washing your hands or hopping out of the shower. And don’t be afraid to have a wide arsenal available. Sure, it might take up some counter space, but different parts of your body have different needs. You might not want a scented lotion as your after-shower moisturizer, for example, but it could be a nice touch for your guests. You might not need a heavy balm everywhere, but it can feel great on dry feet.
Moisturizer is just as important in powder rooms as it is in full baths. Every time we wash our hands, we strip them of their natural oils. Following hand washing with a moisturizer is key when dry air won’t do that stripped skin any favors. Setting up a moisturizer area in every bathroom in your home this winter can make it easier to fight off dry skin – and keep it away.
Add a home humidifier
Just because the air outside is brutally dry doesn’t mean you need to suffer indoors, too. Did you know you can use your home’s existing HVAC system to make your life more comfortable? Your heating and cooling system doesn’t have to push the same dry air into each room. You can add a home humidifier and air cleaner to your HVAC to get some much-needed moisture back into your house.
A home humidifier works a lot like the humidifier you might already use in a single room, except that it balances the moisture levels throughout your home, helping your skin throughout the winter. Plus, improving the air quality in your house helps you keep a healthy home. It also makes it easier to fend off sickness this flu season.
Take some space from the fire
During the cold winter months, it’s extremely tempting to curl up in front of the fireplace and soak up some of that warmth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do your dry skin any favors. Sitting in front of the fire – or even the radiator or any other heat source – sucks moisture from your skin. Think about it. A damp towel will dry much more quickly when hung near something warm. It’s better to turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees than to sit near a source of radiant heat for prolonged periods. Or, better yet, moisturize your skin and layer a sweater over it to lock in the moisture and keep yourself cozy.
Rethink your bedding
During the winter, you’ll probably want to pile the heavy blankets on your bed. They might feel heavenly when you first slip under the covers, but they can actually hurt you in your battle to keep your skin healthy. Once your body warms up, those heavy blankets can make you perspire while you sleep. This can irritate your skin and, ultimately, make it drier throughout the winter.
To start, choose sheets with breathability. That could mean the traditional cotton, but you’ve got a lot of options beyond that. Linen and bamboo sheets can serve you well in every season. Then, instead of adding just a few heavy blankets on top of your sheets, layer your bed. That way, as you get warmer and cooler throughout the night, you can adjust your bedding to your needs. On top of that, make sure you’re washing your sheets on a regular basis. Clean, dry sheets help your skin stay healthy and hydrated.
These are a few tips to get you started, but keeping your skin hydrated during the winter is a matter of finding what works for you. What are your favorite home tips for fighting off dry skin through the colder months? Let us know in the comments!