That extra-long, hot and steamy shower may be enticing on a frigid winter day, as can a relaxing soak in the tub, suds and all. But according to skin care experts, it can leave your skin high and dry. Use these skin care tips for 50+ to pamper your dermis this winter season.
With winter still in full force in most of the continental U.S., the allure of a warm soak in the tub or a hot shower beading steamy water on your neck, shoulders and back can be ever so tempting. But according to doctors at the Baylor College of Medicine, they say that taking long showers or baths in hot water can actually dry out your skin, something that can potentially result in effects like dryness and peeling that last for a long time. Use the skin care tips for 50+ that will be offered here to help you combat dry, flaky skin this winter without compromising on your hygiene regiment.
Limit Bathing Time; Use Lukewarm Water
According to Dr. Rajani Katta, who is a professor of dermatology at Baylor, you should not shower or bathe for longer than 15 minutes when it is winter. In addition, she advises that you do not use hot water at all. Rather, use lukewarm water during the winter to preserve skin moisture. She explains that while a hot shower or bath is tempting, and feels really good when it’s ice cold out, it will rob the skin of vital nutrients and moisturizing properties that can leave it dry as an alligator.
If you must shower, make sure you have a bottle of skin moisturizer or lotion handy for immediately after. Katta says that you should pat, not rub or massage, the lotion into the skin directly after showering. This helps the skin absorb the nutrients and moisturizer that it just lost from the hot water.
Use Thick Moisturizers
So which skin lubricant should you use to take best care of your skin following a much needed bath or shower? Katta says that you should use thick moisturizers because they can lock in the most moisture and will benefit the skin by offering a longer window of protection time. Lotions are lighter, and can be absorbed faster, ideal for oily skin. Creams consist of half oil and half water, and are ideal for those with very dry skin. Lotions work best for those with combination skin – which is the skin type that most people have. For extremely dry skin, petroleum jelly works the best.
Use Gentle Soaps
When it comes to soaps, less is more. Look for soaps that are designed for sensitive skin – even if your skin is not. These will contain fewer chemical constituents that can irritate the skin, and will usually have moisturizers built-in, too. Still, whatever soap you use, make sure to lubricate your skin following your bathing regiment for optimal results.
Not doing so can lead to very dry skin, warns Katta. This can ultimately lead to inflammation, and in severe cases, eczema; an irreversible skin condition. Watch out for key signs of inflammation that include: redness, itching, flaking, scaling or cracking. If you see these changes occurring in your skin, adjust your bathing routine to accommodate. If the irritation persists, contact your dermatologist for medical advice.