7 Winter Skin Care Tips

winter skin care tips from Chicago dermatologist Nima Skin Institute

You know how our frigid temperatures wreak havoc with your skin. It’s dry, flaky and can even crack, which makes it painful or itchy. Here are my winter skin care tips to help you get through our cold months.

1. Gentle is key

Use a gentle face wash and body cleanser. Soaps can strip your skin’s natural oils and disrupt the microbiome. Instead, use gentle, fragrance-free cleansers. Lots of products are labeled for “sensitive skin” and these are a great choice.

There is an important distinction between “fragrance-free” and “unscented.” The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) points out that “unscented” products may actually contain chemicals that neutralize scent and can cause irritation.

2. Moisturize often

Your skin needs moisture, and never more so than in the colder months. Choose a rich, emollient cream for your body and apply it as soon as you get out of your bath or shower. For your face, use a hydrating moisturizer. One with hyaluronic acid may be just what you need. Acne prone skin? Be cautious about using products that are too heavy for your skin. For everyone, I suggest using products that contain ceramides, are fragrance-free, and noncomedogenic so they won’t clog your pores and make you break out.

3. Exfoliate less 

Dry skin? Limit or skip exfoliating this time of year. Normal/Oily skin? It’s okay to exfoliate, but I recommend you doing it less often than in warmer weather. You don’t want to compromise your skin’s barrier because of the dry, cold air. Best yet, come to us for a professional treatment that properly exfoliates your skin.

4. Warm is your friend

Although people love hot showers, it does more harm than good to your skin. Hot water strips your skin of the natural moisture that’s needed to keep it healthy, hydrated and protected. So turn down the water temperature and enjoy a warm shower.

5. Dry off first

Don’t go out in the cold with damp skin! You washed your hands or face and ran out to do an errand. Wait! Dry those hands and face completely and add some moisturizer to protect your skin. Otherwise, your skin can easily chap. 

6. Hydrate 

Drink up! Water is important all year round. Also, a great way to prevent dryness is by using a humidifier since dry air can cause moisture to evaporate from the skin. Adding moisture into the air with a humidifier can counteract these problems.

7. Dress smart

Bundle up when you head outside! Hats, scarves and gloves are great protection for your skin. Some winter fabrics can irritate your skin. If your sweater makes you itch, either wear a breathable shirt underneath or switch to a different material, such as cotton or fleece.

Here for your dermatological needs

If you’re suffering from dry skin and are not able to get it under control, it’s time to see us. Let us evaluate your skin condition and recommend the appropriate treatment plan. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.