Tis’ the season of merriment and joy, friends and family, vacations and entertaining, but along with those come the dreaded cold, dry weather. This time of year can be wonderful for your spirit but wreck havoc on your skin.  Many people with perfectly healthy skin suffer from itching, redness, dry patches and peeling during the colder months; and those with regularly dry skin suffer severely.

Here in Charleston our skin becomes used to the humid, moist air and gets especially dry and tight in our colder months. There are certain things you can do to ease the bothersome symptoms of the season and begin spring with beautiful healthy skin.

One of the easiest fixes is to stay hydrated. This time of year we are making rounds at holiday parties, eating less than good for you foods, and enjoying a round or two of cheer. All of these festive traditions can make you dehydrated which not only affects your health on the inside, but will also affect your skin. Make sure to drink plenty of water in between all the holiday fun.

You also need to stay moisturized. Many of you probably use moisturizer each morning, but increasing this routine can save your skin during these bitter months. Make sure to moisturize your face as soon as you have cleansed, replenishing vital nutrients and oils back into your skin.  For the rest of your body you can use body oil after showering. Oils hold in moisture better than regular lotions keeping your skin moist longer through your day; they also keep water from evaporating from your skin so it is important to apply within the first few minutes from drying off from your shower or bath.  

When taking a shower or bath limiting your time to 15 minutes or under and turning your dial down to a warm temperature, rather than hot, can also help decrease the occurrence of dry skin.  The hotter and longer you are in the shower or bath the more oils are depleted from your skin resulting in drier areas. Also, make sure to use gel or cream cleansers rather than bar soaps. Best rule of thumb, according to Mayo Clinic, is to find a cleanser (for face and body) that leaves your skin feeling clean and smooth not tight or dry.

Your hands, nails and cuticles also suffer this time of year. It is just as important to moisturize your hands after washing as it is your face. If you don’t wear dish gloves this time of the year may be a good time to try them out. Dish gloves can prevent dry hands as well as brittle nails. If the weather is causing dry cuticles make sure to cut them, not tear them, and use a good cuticle oil daily.

Taking good care of your skin from head to toe during the colder seasons will help you to have glowing, healthy skin come warmer weather. If you feel your symptoms are severe and taking slight precautions aren’t helping contact your dermatologist for a consult on dry skin, there could be a more severe problem.

Tis’ the season to be beautiful!
Marguerite Germain