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Why does the skin become dry in winter?

Now that the winters are here, everyone is going to suffer from this problem- dry skin. While some people have naturally dry skin, others develop dry skin during the winter months. Dry skin is more common in winter months than in summer months due to changes in temperature and humidity which can irritate the skin. It affects many people and the severity of the condition varies from individual to individual.

The dryness that occurs during winter is also known as xerosis. The outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis is the skin barrier. This skin barrier is a combination of lipids (commonly known as fats) and dead skin cells. As how a barrier should function, it serves to protect our body and prevents any toxin or irritant from entering our bodies. But when this barrier gets damaged that is when the skin appears dry and irritated.

Moisture is very important for the skin barrier to be doing its work. During winter the air becomes cold, and people turn on their indoor heating high, plus low humidity levels suck the moisture right out of your skin. Not just that, cold harsh winds, and taking hot water baths can also lead to damage and dryness of the skin.

The most common signs of dry skin in winter include:

  1. Flaky skin
  2. Redness
  3. Rough patches
  4. Rough texture
  5. Itchiness
  6. Cracks on skin
  7. Stinging

Dry winter skin is something that is unavoidable. But making some changes in your skincare routine and habits will definitely help in getting smooth soft skin. Dry and damaged skin needs moisture to repair itself. Using a moisturizer is the best way to rehydrate the skin. Especially moisturizers that contain linoleic, linolenic, and lauric acids can help smooth rough and dry skin.

Here are some tips to take care of dry skin during winter:

  • Moisturizing after bath

Taking a hot bath in winter strips the natural oils from the skin which prevents the skin from getting dry. Therefore, it is important to apply a moisturizer right after taking a bath to rehydrate the skin and prevent it from getting dry. 

  • Drink lots of water

Using a topical moisturizer is good but it is also very important to take care of your skin internally. Drinking the required amount of water is also important to keep your skin hydrated.

  • Sunscreen

A lot of people neglect wearing sunscreen just because it’s winter and cloudy. Just because they feel there is no sun, the UV rays can penetrate through clouds and fog and still damage the skin barrier. Therefore it is necessary to apply sunscreen every single day. 

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