Chapped, dry skin is one of the most difficult skin types to care for. When winter comes, dry skin can become even worse, often causing chapped skin.
Characteristics of chapped, dry skin include:
- Dry patches
- Excessive itchiness
- Sensitivity to wind and cold
Chapped, dry skin can be cared for by following some simple advice and by using the right products.
Causes of dry, chapped skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body and is therefore complex. Your skin is made up of multiple layers. Dry skin occurs when the top layer, the stratum corneum, does not have enough water in it.
The lack of water in the stratum corneum can result from the stripping of the oils normally present that help hold the water in the stratum corneum.
The stripping of oils can happen because of:
- Too much bathing (especially with harsh soaps)
- Exposure to chemicals
- Normal aging
- Too much sun exposure
Chapping of the skin can then occur because the lack of water in the stratum corneum causes dryness, which leads to cracks. The cracks allow bacteria into your skin and also cause chapping.
Treating chapped, dry skin
Treating chapped, dry skin can start with preventative measures.
Don’t take extremely hot or long showers, for example. Hot water strips your skin of the oils it needs to hold water. And the longer your skin is exposed to the hot water, the more oils stripped from your skin.
Wearing sunscreen, even in the winter, can really help to cut down on chapped skin. 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, snow, and fog, meaning that just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean your skin isn’t exposed to the sun’s rays.
Also, make sure to shave using gel or lotion for moisture and to change the blade on your razor often. Also, always shave in the direction the hair grows.
Also, choosing the right cleansers and moisturizers can go a long way in protecting your skin against winter wear and tear. Ingredients like phosphatidylcholine mimic the natural phospholipids in your skin that keep your skin from drying out. Perricone MD Intensive Moisture Therapy moisturizer contains phospholipids that will gently moisturize and protect skin from harsh winter weather. It also smooths skin’s texture and adds radiance.