Tackling chronic dry skin in autumn? Here are a few tips to help you look and feel your very best.
Does your skin dry out when the leaves change? You’re not alone! Dry skin is an incredibly common problem as the weather cools.
The good news? You have options to tackle it.
Here’s a look at why the changing seasons dry out your skin and what you can do to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
There are a lot of wonderful things about autumn (looking at you, PSL) but dry skin isn’t one of them. Fortunately, once you know why your skin dries out, you can treat the root causes.
Our skin dries out in autumn and winter for two reasons: cooler weather and lifestyle changes.
As the weather cools, temperature and humidity both drop rapidly. This automatically means your skin has to work harder to retain moisture. Worse, your skin likes consistency, so if you live in an area with sudden temperature shifts, it’s a shock to your system that takes a toll on your skin.
The effect is compounded by lifestyle changes people make in cooler weather. For example, the shift to indoor heating compounds the loss of humidity, and the switch to hot showers strips your skin of much-needed oil while worsening inflammation.
Here’s the good news: it is possible to manage your dry skin in autumn, even if you have a chronic skin condition like eczema. It’s all about making adjustments to do your skin a favor. Here are a few ways you can tackle dryness, reduce inflammation, and feel your very best no matter how crisp the season gets.
Keep it Lukewarm
Hot water might feel good on your skin, but it’s also a known skin irritant. Yup, the thing you use to soothe itchiness is actually making skin irritation worse.
That’s because hot water strips your skin of its natural oils while also drawing moisture out of your skin. Plus, if you’re hopping in a hot shower to warm up from the cold air, it’s a shock to your system. All three can dry out even healthy skin, but for those who have chronic dry skin or eczema, the effect can be painful over time.
So, do your skin a favor and keep it warm (lukewarm, that is). Resist the temptation to hop in a hot shower and instead stick to showering or bathing in lukewarm water. Or, if you must take a hot shower, keep it as brief as possible.
Either way, you should immediately follow up a bath or shower with emollients to help lock in moisture.
And speaking of moisture, it’s time to become BFFs with your moisturizer–a different one that you used all summer. That lightweight, oil-free moisturizer kept your skin clear and bright in the summer while your skin produced oil easily, but in autumn and winter, your skin needs an oil boost.
That means making the switch to a heftier, thicker moisturizer. Look for a thick moisturizer with ceramides, a healthy fatty acid that’s essential to the skin barrier and often depleted during the winter. Moisturizers with ceramides literally repair the skin barrier by giving your skin the building blocks it needs.
Either way, moisturize shortly after you shower or wash your face, as this helps lock water into your skin. During the day, keep a moisturizer close at hand so that you can give your skin a boost–especially your hands, which lose moisture throughout the day thanks to frequent washing. At night, don’t be shy about using heavy-duty night creams (especially with those essential ceramides).
Invest in a Humidifier
Unfortunately, even the best moisturizer can’t entirely compensate for your environment. So your skincare best friend may not come in a bottle or jar at all.
For people with persistent and painful dry skin, it can help to go one step beyond a moisturizer by reintroducing moisture into your environment. That means investing in a humidifier, which will reintroduce some moisture and prevent the air from leeching moisture. Use it in your bedroom at night, as well as any rooms where you spend a significant amount of time during the day.
Last but not least, take a sip!
Roughly 60% of the adult human body is water, but in the cooler months, we actually need more water since our skin loses moisture to the air. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to neglect proper hydration in winter since we’re not constantly sweating and thirsty.
Here’s the thing: if you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated. Don’t wait for thirst signals to cue you. Instead, keep a water bottle close at hand all the time and work on it throughout the day. On average, men need 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water per day, while women 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day, but this goes up or down if you exercise often, if you live in extreme climates, if you’re pregnant, if you’re breastfeeding, or if you have various health conditions.
Dry skin in autumn is not one of the highlights of the season. So this autumn, invest in great skincare. Our skincare products formulated for chronic dry skin are perfect to help you focus on what you love about autumn, like colorful leaves and knitted blankets and quality time with your loved ones.