Welcome to winter and another season of dry, itchy skin. The drier climate and indoor heat may already be taking a toll, so it’s time to get serious about a daily routine that ensures hydration for your body’s largest organ. Start with these seven tips for preventing and soothing dry skin and chapped lips.
1. Get a humidifier
First things first: Get a humidifier to improve the quality of the air in your home. With dry air comes dry skin, so you’ll want to maximize the amount of moisture in the air by plugging in a humidifier in the most used room in your home (typically the bedroom or living room). There are a number of humidifier options on the market, including mini ones that can sit on your desk or nightstand, silent ones that won’t bother you while sleeping, and fancy ones that light up and can be scheduled to turn off at specific times.
2. Turn down the heat
Another way to ensure your home environment isn’t too dry is to keep your heat on a low or moderate setting. Most heat systems dry out the air, so this simple change will limit the possibility of chapped lips, nosebleeds due to dryness, and dry, sore throats. Additionally, when you take a bath or shower, use lukewarm water instead of hot. Though a hot shower is tempting after being out in the cold, the combination of hot water and soaking can strip your skin of its protective oils and leave you feeling dry and itchy. Opt for a lukewarm shower that lasts no more than 5 minutes.
3. Stock up on coconut oil
Because of coconut oil’s emollient properties—which means it feels the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface—it is a preferred choice for hydrating dry skin. It is also gentle enough for everyday use, wherever you need it most. Remember that a little goes a long way and that it repels water, so it is best used in small amounts on dry skin.
4. Exfoliate your lips
When it comes to kicking dry skin, don’t forget your precious lips. If they’re already under duress from the elements, start with a lip exfoliator to remove dry skin, such as Seraphine Botanicals Daikon + Dreams Lip Exfoliator, featured in the September 2020 Kinder Beauty Box. Then apply a rich lip ointment or lip butter in a pot—such as Delia Organics Pout Lip Creme, featured in the August 2020 Kinder Beauty Box—which will protect your sensitive lips from further damage. Apply lip moisturizer in the morning, throughout the day, and before bed.
5. Moisturize morning and night
This might be obvious, but making a regular routine of moisturizing can do wonders for your skin health. Each night, take care of your face first: use a gentle cleanser such as Willing Beauty Do Over Cleanser, featured in the March 2020 Kinder Beauty Box; a night serum such as Dirty Lamb Ultra Night Serum, featured in the December 2019 Kinder Beauty Box; and then load on a moisturizer such as Atmosphere Protection Cream, featured in the July 2020 Kinder Beauty Box). Take care of the rest of your body by applying a rich body lotion, such as Cela Creme Rose, featured in the July 2020 Kinder Beauty Box. Repeat the moisturizing step in the mornings, too. This routine will ensure healthy skin every day.
6. Have an oatmeal bath
A 2015 study found that extracts from oatmeal had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping to improve skin dryness, roughness, and itchiness. Consider using body cream or soap that contain oatmeal—such as Scentuals Grapefruit Turmeric Hand Repair Cream, featured in the June 2020 Kinder Beauty Box—or try adding powdered oatmeal to your bath for a luxurious and soothing soak.
7. Adjust your diet
What you put in your body can have an impact on your skin, which is why increasing your daily intake of fats may help keep skin subtle and hydrated. Consider increasing your intake of healthy plant fats such as walnuts, avocados, and olive or coconut oil. And make an effort to drink lots of water to keep your whole body hydrated from the inside out.