Adopting the wrong bathing practices can contribute to dry skin problems, as can winter weather. Put dry skin and unwise bathing procedures together and you could get very dry skin indeed. That's why, if your skin tends toward a dry and flaky disposition, it's important to alter your bathing habits when cold weather comes. The following bathing tips will help you keep your skin supple and soft in winter.
Control the Temperature of Your Showers
Long soaks in hot water can cause a reaction in skin similar to sun burn. Skin that soaks in hot water becomes inflamed, red and itchy, making dry skin problems much worse. Controlling the temperature of your showers at this dry time of year can help you avoid the worst dry skin problems.
On cold winter afternoons, you be tempted to turn your hot water up higher and higher when you take a shower or bath. To prevent yourself from turning the shower up too high, try installing a temperature control safety device on your home's shower faucet.
Use a Timer in the Shower
Limit your showers to 5 or 10 minutes in length to prevent your skin from absorbing too much hot water. If you find it difficult to time yourself, try limiting your showers by putting an alarm in the bathroom. When the alarm goes off, you'll have to get out of the shower to turn the alarm off.
Limit the Number of Times You Bathe in a Week
Dry skin is a sign that you're washing away the natural oils that help protect your skin. You can avoid this problem by limiting the number of times each week that you take a bath. If you normally bathe your body every day, cut back to an every-other-day schedule during the winter. This will help ensure that your body will produce the right amount of oil to keep your skin moist but not oily.
Bathe with Gentle Skin Care Products
Using scented and harsh skin care products (like anti-bacterial soaps and soaps with alcohol) can make dry skin even more dry. When you're bathing, unscented, moisturizing soaps in the shower to help you avoid doing damage to your skin.
Shut the Door While Bathing
If dry air is bad for your skin, humid air is good for your skin. To take advantage of the humid air in the bathroom after you bathe, shut your bathroom door during your bath or shower, then get dressed in the bathroom afterwards.
For more helpful suggestions about ways to alter your bathing ritual this winter, contact an experienced dermatologist, like the doctors at Desert Dermatology, in your area.