According to a report by the National Health Interview Survey, 81 million Americans experience dry, itchy or scaly skin during the winter months. The cold temperatures, humidity-free air and contact with wool and heavy fabrics can make the skin irritated and uncomfortable - worsening through the fall/winter. For most people, it is just an annoyance. But many with conditions that cause itch, like psoriasis or eczema, can really suffer.
Normal, healthy skin is 20–35% water. When the skin’s water content drops below 10%, it begins drying and brings discomfort characterized by redness, itchiness and flakiness. Without moisture, the skin hardens and flakes and begins to irritate the nerves closest to the surface. Use the below tips to naturally avoid inch and instead enjoy the winter wonder:
Avoid Itchy Fabrics
>People with dry skin should not wear wool or heavy synthetic fabrics directly on their skin; causing irritation from too much friction. Cover up against the cold, but wear a layer of soft cotton or other comforting material.
Avoid HOT Bathing
>To help keep skin moist, watch how many times you bathe. The hotter the shower water the more moisture will be extracted from the skin. When drying after a bath or shower, PAT DRY -- don't rub. Rubbing will remove the barrier skin cells and oils you've trying to keep. After stepping out of the shower, it’s good to apply a quality moisturizer within three minutes before the dampness can evaporate, a trick many dermatologists call the “soak and smear” technique.
Avoid Synthetic products
> So many alcohol and water based products promise to help, but actually dry the skin with each application. Also read the ingredients to especially avoid caustic chemicals like perfume/fragrance, phthalates, dioxins, phenoexynol, parabens, sodium lauryl sufate, diethanolamine, and formaldehyde. These can cause further damaging reactions to the skin and truly endanger your greater health.
Use a Gentle Organic Cleanser
>Use a mild cleanser, which does not harshly clean and dry the skin - which strips essential lipids from the skin. A good natural cleanser gently cleans and can put beneficial oils back into the skin and help repair the barrier functions.
Use an Organic Mosisturizer
>The only way to rehydrate the skin’s outermost layer is to trap moisture against the skin using a thick, rich moisturizer to create a barrier from the elements. Moisturizers primarily work not by putting water into the skin, but by slowing the natural loss of water from the skin. Look for one that's both thick and organically mild, and apply frequently. Oil based creams and lotions, especially those laden with nutrient rich essential oils, are vital.