How to keep your skin glowing this winter

Between the cold outside and the heat inside, these months can be tough on skin. But doctors say adopting a few simple practices can keep you hydrated and youthful in winter.

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in your own skin this time of year, D.C.-area dermatologists said it’s because of a loss of moisture.

“It’s really due to the cold air, the dry indoor heats, low humidity levels, and just the wind and cold, that can really impact our skin that way,” said Dr. Tola Oyesanya, a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente.

Oyesanya told WTOP that step one to moisturized skin this winter is colder showers.

“I know people enjoy those hot, long steamy showers. But that’s the best way to suck moisture out of your skin,” she said.

“Lukewarm showers are better [this season],” she went on, “and if you really can’t do without your hot shower, make it much shorter than average.”

Oyesanya also said you need to moisturize after you clean off — but wants you to:

“Avoid lotions — lotions have high amounts of alcohol in them. That alcohol is actually quite drying to the skin because it causes our skin to evaporate that moisture,” she said.

Specifically — and this may surprise you — Oyesanya said to avoid pump-top lotions, because those are the ones with high levels of alcohol. She said something creamy or greasy that comes out of a tub or jar is better, and will help lock hydration in ore effectively.

And finally, she said to avoid cleaning your face with harsh soaps. Oyesanya said bar soaps, antibacterial soaps, and anything that’s designed to sanitize are no-goes when it comes to facial cleansing.

“You want to use something that’s mostly a moisturizing soap,” she told WTOP. “So when you use it, your skin feels kind of slick.”

She wants people to look for “hydrating cleanser” labels — and keep that skin fresh. Oyesanya said your skin never forgets and it’ll thank you for making good choices.

“Take care of your skin now, and you won’t be playing catch up when the seasons change,” she said.

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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