Fall and winter skin survival guide
Cold air outside, hot air inside, and dry air everywhere can disrupt the skin’s barrier in the fall and winter. And that can mean dry, itchy skin for everyone, but especially for those who deal with conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Here are some products that can help your skin look and feel its best throughout the colder months.
Facial cleanser - Use a cleanser designed to put moisture back into your skin. Look for products that specifically say the words "gentle" and "moisturizing" on the label. Avoid products that contain alcohol, as these can dry your skin.
Body cleanser - Your skin below your neck needs just as much care as your face. Look for creamy liquid, gel, or mousse cleansers that are labeled "fragrance free." For patients with eczema, products that contain petrolatum, shea butter, and silicones are good choices.
Facial moisturizer - Lighter lotions may not be enough to protect your skin from the elements in colder, drier climates. Look for creams, oils, or balms. Hyaluronic acid and jojoba are good hydrating ingredients.
Body moisturizer - Moisturizing your body while your skin is still damp after a shower or bath is an effective way to keep skin hydrated. This is because moisturizer traps existing moisture in skin. Look for ointments and creams that you squeeze from a tube or scoop from a tub, as opposed to ones you pump from a bottle, as thicker formulations typically pack more moisture. Hyaluronic acid works just as well for the body as it does for the face and absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water. Other ingredients that work well for dry skin are glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, and shea butter.
Sunscreen - Yes, you should be wearing sunscreen year-round on areas not covered by clothing, like the face, neck, ears, and hands. Look for moisturizing sunscreen products, such as creams instead of lotions or sprays. Or use a moisturizer and then apply sunscreen on top. Your sunscreen should offer broad-spectrum protection, and have an SPF of at least 30.