Skin Care Column: Managing Dry, Itchy Skin In Winter

Skin Care Column
Managing Dry, Itchy Skin In Winter

I ran this column last year and thought it would be worth revisiting as many of my clients have found this information useful.

Aging and years of sun exposure reduce the capacity of your skin tomoisturize itself, so your skin often becomes dry, flaky and itchy. Your skin becomes even drier when humidity is lower in the winter and in dry climates. To help combat dry skin and itchiness try these tips:

  • Avoid using harsh soaps, which are drying to the skin. Instead, use mild or glycerin soaps on the body such as Alpha Keri, Basis, Eucerin, Dove or Caress. Use antibacterial soaps only on underarms, genital area, hands and feet. Do not use on your face. Use only face products on the face. If you are extra dry, use only creamy cleansers on the face as opposed to gel cleansers.( i.e. PCA’s Creamy Cleanser)
  • Seal moisture into your skin by applying a moisturizing cream or bath oil to your skin immediately after bathing, while your skin is still damp.
  • Make your bath water warm rather than very hot. Hot water just worsens dry skin – doesn’t help with healing chapped skin.
  • Give up your shower. Most people use hotter water for showers than they do for tub bathing. Experts used to think frequent bathing was drying to the skin. Now they recommend daily soaking for 10 minutes in water no warmer than about 90 F. You also can use a bath oil in your tub if your skin is extra dry.
  • Pat your skin dry after your bath. Never rub. And leave your skin a bit moist.

June English is a licensed Esthetician and owner of Professional Skin Care Choices in Los Alamos. For more information, call her at 505.507.0124 or visit

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