5 Ways to Get Rid of Dry, Itchy Skin
Even if you have found a harmonious skincare regimen — and even if that regimen is minimalist and easy to maintain — you will periodically find yourself with patches of dry, itchy skin. The cold, dry air in winter is almost certainly to blame. But dry skin can also occur in summer, particularly in less humid climates or when your air conditioning is cranked super high.
It is still hard to know what you could have done to avoid the situation, since there are so many factors that contribute to your skin’s moisture stasis. It could be the amount of time you spend in the shower, the temperature of said shower, the products you are using and the ones you aren’t.
So, run down this list and consider all the ways you can both prevent dry, itchy skin and quickly repair any current cases. Pair these fixes with a proper winter skincare regimen in the colder months, and you will likely avoid any problems in the future.
Take shorter, cooler and fewer showers
Long, hot showers might feel incredible, but they do a number on your skin. Hot water strips moisture, and thus removes all the natural oils your skin needs to stay soft and smooth. So, if you can manage — and that is a big IF, we know — try to turn down the temperature a few notches, and then expedite your regimen. Secondly, try to limit your showers to one per day, particularly in the winter when the dry air is already parching your skin. If none of this is feasible (how melodramatic of you), then add an emphasis on the next tips.
Switch to balms in winter
There are many types of hydrating products — lotions, creams, oils, etc. — but in the dryer months, it is smart to switch to balms. They are thicker, so they often pack more nutrients; more importantly they protect the skin from outside forces, like dry air and cold winds. That means you lose less moisture to the elements, which is important both during the day (like when you are going outside), as well as while you sleep (since you need to apply your strongest, most effective products at bedtime). Balms are a really effective post-shave agent for men, too, since that is when the skin is most vulnerable to these elements.
Hydrate all over
Moisturizing isn’t just for your face and hands. You can and should hydrate your entire body, from beard (for men) to feet, and the best remedy of all is body lotion. From the affordable, like Advanced Clinicals’ aloe vera body cream, to the deluxe, like any of Aesop’s body balms, it is the easiest way to both prevent and treat dry-skin ailments. Itchy, flaky skin and rough patches are numbered.
Get a humidifier
Your nighttime regimen should focus on more than just skin products. On the one hand, it is important to lather on the balms and creams at bedtime, to help skin cells regenerate overnight, and to defend against the dry air. However, you can also improve the quality of the air that you soak in all night — in that it needs more moisture for you to figuratively soak in. By getting a humidifier and cranking it up in the dryer months, you can fill the room with moisture, which means the air doesn’t dehydrate your skin. Think of it this way: It is a lot harder to dry a wet towel in the damp, warm bathroom than it is in a cold, ventilated room. If you pump more water into your bedroom air (and don’t forget to close the door, to contain the moisture), your skin won’t dry out. It does a number on your sleep quality and breath too, since your throat and mouth don’t dry out as easily, either.
Use hydrating soaps and cleansers
In addition to taking shorter and fewer showers, it is important to assess the products you are using to wash your skin. They are often the culprits, since their job is to pull excess oil from the skin, in addition to dirt and grime. However, they are sometimes too good at this, especially in the winter when you need to preserve that moisture all the more. Stock up on products that promise to hydrate or preserve moisture while they clean, like Dove+Men Care’s body wash, which uses a similar hydrating formulas as its bar soaps, or Brickell’s clarifying cleanser, which washes excess oil without compromising naturally healthy moisture levels.