An Effective Guide To Overcoming Winter Dryness

Winter is a wonderful season, full of festive fun and excitement that brings a smile to everyone’s face. However, there’s no doubt that amid all the jollity, winter can wreak havoc with your health. Not only do you have to battle with colds and flu, but there’s the ever-present problem of dryness.

We all feel it over the winter months. Thanks to the cold air and the low humidity, a feeling of hydration begins to become difficult to obtain. Our lips chap; our eyes are dry and uncomfortable; and we can apply endless layers of moisturizer but our skin still seems to struggle. Winter is infamous for how dry and uncomfortable it can make people feel, which rather detracts from this otherwise enjoyable and rather novel time of year.

So, rather than suffering through with dry lips and tight-feeling skin for another year, what can you do about it? There are a range of options, so why not read on and see which might work well for you and your family…

Option One: Humidifiers

The air in winter is notoriously dry, There are several reasons why dryness is such a problem during the coldest months of the year:

  • Simple science has a role to play; warm air holds more water than cold air. In summer, the air is thick with humidity created by the heat. In winter, the water just isn’t there, meaning you and your family are more likely to suffer with dry skin, lips, and eyes.
  • Most of us use some sort of heating system throughout winter to stay warm. As necessary as this is, it’s a behavior that doesn’t really help when it comes to keeping the air moist. While you may think that warmer air provided by air conditioning is a good thing -- because warm air holds more water, as mentioned above -- this isn’t the case for air that has been artificially heated. In fact, the air in your home will be even drier when you are running a central heating system, as what moisture there was in the cold air is dried out by the heat.

So the problem is caused by a simple two-step blow: the air is drier than normal to begin with, and then is made even drier by using indoor heating. No wonder so many families experience problems with dryness over winter!

Perhaps the most effective way to combat this is to put some of the moisture back. How can you do this? Simple: with a humidifier.

There are two forms of humidifiers to consider. The first is a small appliance, usually powered by electricity or batteries. The most popular ones look something like this:

These humidifiers can be useful in some regards, but in truth, they’re not really sufficiently sized to make that big of a difference. They look nice and are rather novel, but they have relatively little to offer in terms of making a drastic improvement to the quality of air in your home.

If you really want something that will improve the moisture in your home, you’re going to need professionally installed humidifiers. These can be expensive, but they are wonderful if anyone in your family has a history of skin conditions such as eczema, which can be exacerbated by dry air. If you’re tempted by this option, then you can look for more information here and see if a humidifier could work for your family.

Option Two: Use More Humectants

As the name suggests, a humectant is a product that holds water. If you introduce humectants into your bathing and skincare routine, then you will feel the benefit of the extra water all through winter.

There are all kinds of popular products that contain humectant properties, but here are a few to consider to get you started:

  • Beeswax is an excellent humectant. Make your own beeswax balm and apply it after showering; your skin will feel comfortable and hydrated all day.
  • Hyaluronic acid might sound scary, but this skincare product is actually wonderful for your skin. Any product that contains this wonderful acid will make a huge difference to how your skin feels; you can also buy it as a standalone product from brands like The Ordinary.
  • Lactic acid is a good humectant. It’s best used as part of your nighttime skincare regime, as it will help to plump and moisturize your skin while you sleep.
  • Aloe vera gel is a natural option. Look for gel that is as close to 100 percent pure as possible to get the full benefit.
  • Honey works well as a humectant, but it can be sticky and uncomfortable on the skin. It’s best used as a treatment for specific skincare concerns; apply to eczema or psoriasis for 10 minutes, then remove with a warm wet cloth.
  • Glycerin is an ingredient found in a huge number of skincare products, so look for it on the label. You can also buy it on its own although, like honey, it is rather sticky and unpleasant. If you find this is an issue for you, you could just add a couple of drops to your existing moisturizer to get all the benefits without any of the downsides.

Using more humectants throughout winter will make a huge difference to your skin, so make the switch now so you can begin to feel the benefits.

Option Three: Drink More Water

It’s fair to say you’re probably sick of being told to drink more water; it’s something that we all hear constantly in various areas of life. Want to lose weight? Drink more water! Want better skin? Drink more water! Want to solve the mystery of life? Drink more water! Okay, so probably not the last one, but it’s advice we hear so often it’s almost surprising to consider there’s something that drinking more water can’t fix.

There’s good reason you’re constantly being told to drink more water; because there’s a fair chance you’re chronically dehydrated. Millions of people are, and it’s an issue that will make the winter dryness all the more pernicious. You have to stay well-hydrated through winter or you will struggle even more with chapped lips, dry eyes, and a dry mouth.

If you struggle to drink enough water every day, there are various techniques you can try to increase your intake. Or you could set yourself a challenge. Drink two liters in a single day and see how it feels to be properly hydrated. You’ll feel so much better, and this might help to encourage you to continue the habit.

Option Four: Use A Hydrating Mist

Even if you have a humidifier and you’re as well hydrated as it’s possible to be, you still might find yourself in need of an extra water boost. This is all the more likely if you or a member of your family struggle with skin conditions; you can take precautions, but sometimes, your facial skin will feel dry and uncomfortable.

The beauty industry comes to the rescue on this one; hydrating mists are a relatively new innovation, but they could make all the difference. In essence, these mists are water in an aerosol can, though they often contain other moisturizing ingredients too. The idea is simple: when you feel you’re in need of a hydration boost, your spritz your face with the mist, and enjoy instant relief. Most of the most popular mists are light enough to not even disturb your makeup.

Option Five: Focus Where You Need It Most

There are numerous ailments that can be caused by dry winter air; dry lips, dry eyes, a dry mouth etc. However, you may only experience one or two of these problems, so it makes sense to focus your efforts on the problem that you are struggling with. Here’s a few suggestions for each malady individually.

Cracked, Chapped Lips

  • Don’t use a conventional lip balm. Store-bought lip balm can actually make chapped lips worse due to the extra ingredients added.
  • Switch to using a simple beeswax lip balm that you make yourself, or apply a thin layer of lanolin over your lips as and when needed.

Dry Eyes

  • Use a facial mister -- with your eyes closed! -- once per week during winter. This helps to keep the skin around your eyes and the eyelids supple and hydrated.
  • Use eye drops if required; opt for preservative-free drops for optimum eye health.

Dry Mouth

  • Drink cold liquids rather than warm. It can be tough to convince yourself to drink cold water in winter, but this is a necessary step. Cold water is absorbed better than room temperature or warm water, so your throat will feel better all the quicker.
  • Use a mouthwash for those who experience dry mouth. These are a touch more expensive, but twice-daily use should bring plenty of relief.

Dry Facial Skin

  • Use a moisturizer that contains a humectant.
  • Cover your face when outdoors to prevent the cold air and wind making your dryness issue worse.

In Conclusion

Winter dryness is a problem that can be fought, so experiment with ideas until you find something that makes you and your family feel as comfortable as possible.

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