Cold weather often leads to dry skin and irritation, both of which are more visible in darker skin tones. Here some tips to keep your skin hydrated and healthy this winter.
Pampering your skin is important year-round, but it s even more vital during the winter months when skin is taking a beating from cold, dry air. When temperatures drop, most people find that their skin loses moisture, which can result in dry, itchy, irritated skin. But people with darker skin should be especially cautious this time of year: Not only can irritation and dryness be more pronounced in skin of color.
Take colder, shorter showers
After a cold day, who doesn t love a 30-minute shower in the hottest water you can stand? But Dr. Elbuluk recommends lukewarm showers instead: "The longer you expose your skin to hot water will further dry your skin out," she explains, adding that limiting yourself to a five- to 10-minute shower each day is ideal.
Moisturize right after you shower
Make it a daily habit to moisturize your entire body as soon as you get out of the bath or shower. "Right when you ve towel-dried your skin and it s a little damp, you want to seal in all that moisture," Dr Elbuluk says. "So that s when you want to use a cream sort of as a barrier to seal all of that in."
She suggests using creams that contain ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid because they re thicker than lotions and help restore your natural skin barrier.
Avoid excess exposure to extreme outdoor elements
Sledding and building a snowman are fun ways to spend winter days, but people with darker skin tones should beware of staying out in freezing temps for too long.
Throw out your scented soaps
They may smell amazing, but scented soaps could be stripping your skin of its natural oils, says Dr Elbuluk. Try to use mild, gentle, unscented products that will cleanse the skin without taking away all your natural oils.
Wear sunscreen every day
Yes, that means every day. That s a really important thing that a lot of people don t realize, especially in the skin of color community-people think that they don t need it.
Avoid irritable materials in your closet
If you re prone to eczema, you should be especially mindful of the clothes you re wearing, since wool and thicker fabrics can be irritating on skin. "Once you start that itch cycle, you scratch, then you itch more and more," Dr. Elbuluk says. "You can ideally avoid that by avoiding irritants to the skin."
Dr. Desai recommends buying coats, gloves, and scarves that are as close to 100% cotton as possible, since synthetic blends and polyester can make your already-dry skin feel even worse.