Dry skin is a common problem during the cold winter months, and for many, it's a seasonal inconvenience that seems unavoidable. Our skin's moisture barrier is weakened thanks to harsh winds, rain, and freezing temperatures, so we have to take extra precaution to protect it during the winter.
You may be tempted to take frequent long, hot showers to warm up, but overshowering and bathing can often worsen dry skin during winter months. Looking for tips on how to create the perfect shower routine for healthy, moisturized skin? Here's our guide to get you through these long, cold months!
The Link Between Over-Showering and Dry Skin
Why is winter so harsh on our skin? Moisture is the leading cause. Or rather, the lack of it. Our skin is protected by the outermost layer, known as the moisture barrier. Harsh winter weather can throw it off balance, due to lower temperatures and lack of humidity. Thus, dry skin –including dry, rough hands– is more likely as these conditions continue. In short, when our skin loses too much moisture, it becomes dry and rough.
The presence of dry indoor heating can also affect your moisture balance. Central heating often lowers the amount of moisture in the air, drying out your skin. One easy way to combat this is by using a humidifier, especially at night.
How Often Should You Shower?
Showering or bathing too often, especially in the winter, can only exacerbate dry skin. The frequent scrubbing and washing can strip away the skin's natural oils, causing you to lose much-needed moisture.
It's often recommended you slightly change your shower or bathe frequency in the winter due to the difference in weather conditions. Daily showering and bathing means exposing your skin and hair to soap and shampoo every day, resulting in stripping away essential oil, such as sebum in your hair, and making skin more susceptible to allergens and irritants. If you don't work a physically demanding job that requires daily baths or showers, adults can usually bathe every other day to maintain their natural oils and prevent dry skin.
How To Effectively Clean Your Body While Showering
When you shower and bathe in the winter, follow these tips to lock in skin moisture and ensure you aren’t facing the elements with dry, damaged skin. Looking for tips for the rest of the year? Check out our guide to a Healthy Skin Shower Routine here.
Avoid Long, Piping Hot Showers
Tend to daydream in the shower and get lost in your thoughts? In the winter, that could dry your skin out even more. Try to limit your showers to 5-8 minutes, as you may leave long showers with your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable, as the time spent under hot water dried out your pores.
Opt for a lukewarm water temperature – hot water strips away natural oils. Plus the cooler water temperature will make you less likely to linger in the shower!
Frequent, vigorous scrubbing at your skin with soap is another big factor for dry winter skin. When you do soap, use a light touch and focus on areas of the body that accumulate the most odor and dirt, such as armpits, groin, and feet. Skip the harsh loofah or brush and opt instead for a gentle wash cloth or a sponge made from organic material.
Don’t Dry Shave
Do you shave in the shower or bath? Be sure to always use a moisturizing shave gel or body wash. Not only will this ensure a smooth shave, but it will also help you avoid razor burn and dry skin. And of course, be sure to moisturize these areas once you’re out of the shower as well. Shaving without water and a good moisturizer is an easy way to leave skin dry or flaky, so never shave without them!
Choose Products for Sensitive Skin
Our skin is extra sensitive in the winter so it makes sense to choose products that will give it a much-needed added dose of protection. Our Natural Body Wash features a gentle, plant based formula that richy hydrates sensitive skin. Its pH-balanced formula is great for all skin types, but in the winter, when your skin needs some extra TLC, it makes all the difference.
Always Moisturize After a Shower
One of the best ways to combat dry winter skin is to always follow up your shower or bath by immediately applying moisturizer. This helps your skin cells seal in moisture while your skin is still damp from the shower.
Avoid lotions with synthetic fragrances and synthetic dyes when you bathe, as these ingredients can also trigger acne, eczema, and other skin problems. Instead, opt for a moisturizer like our Natural Body Lotion that features soothing plant based ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and jojoba oil.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Winter sunlight is still sunlight, and that means you shouldn't skip sunscreen during the colder months. In fact, reflective surfaces like snow or ice can cause UVB rays to damage skin more. Along with sufficiently covering up with winter gear, you should also apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Look for one with an SPF of 15 or higher, and apply it to any exposed skin.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
Just as winter weather dries out skin, it can also do damage to your hair. Generally, if you have an oily scalp, washing every 1-2 days in the winter is enough, while 3-4 days works better for dry scalps. During cold months, our scalp needs natural oils even more, so be sure to avoid washing hair too much and losing these essential oils.
Since people have different hair textures and hair needs, the frequency one washes their hair is different for everyone. However, keep an eye out for signs such as breakage or a dry scalp after you bathe, as these may be signs that you are washing your hair too frequently.
Keep Your Shower Accessories Clean
Keeping your bathroom routine winter-ready also applies to your shower and bath accessories. Here’s how to keep them in the best shape to help you keep your skin nourished and moisturized.
How To Clean Loofahs and Brushes
It's best to use a light touch when scrubbing with soap or cleanser, but if you do use a sponge or loofah when you bathe, be sure to regularly clean it. Over time, these accessories can accumulate bacteria and dead skin, so be sure to rinse and shake out excess water after each use and store them in a cool, dry place.
How Often Should You Clean Your Towel?
Change your towel at least once a week to keep it fresh and soft against your skin after you bathe. Also be sure to allow towels to dry between uses. Leaving them wet or damp can allow bacteria to grow on them if you're not careful.
Maintain Healthy Skin and Hair in the Winter with Puracy
With winter in full swing, you need natural, dermatologist-approved products that will keep your skin moisturized and healthy all year long. Our Natural Body Wash purifies and refreshes sensitive skin with soothing coconut cleansers and clinical-grade moisturizers, while our Shampoo and Conditioner is packed with the highest quality cleansers, plant extracts, and vegetable emollients. Avoid dull skin and hair during the winter months by protecting them with Puracy's nourishing and restoring personal care essentials.