Fans of Arizona’s lack of humidity during the hot, summer months may also have a significant distaste for how much that lack of humidity can dry out their skin in the winter. However, a few simple tips and tricks can help with that dry skin and keep you looking dewy and fresh all year long. Spend your Arizona winters being happy with the mild temperatures and where to find the best elusive snow to play in.
What Causes Dry Skin?
There are many possible causes for dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by the weather, including both hot and cold temperatures, although dry skin is normally more common in the colder months. Certain heating elements like fireplaces and central air can cause your skin to be more dry than it normally would. Health can also play a factor in dry skin, even getting too little sleep can play a factor in your overall health as well as the health of your outer layer.
Certain risk factors can also cause your skin to be more likely to dry out than others. Living in low-humidity climates like the climate in Arizona, especially in the cold months, can exacerbate dry skin. If you have a job where your skin is often wet, such as in nursing or as a hairdresser, this can dry out your skin immensely. Age can also affect how efficiently your body keeps your epidermis moisturized.
Common Symptoms of Dry Skin
We all know that the most noticeable sign of dry skin is those dry, flaky, or ashy patches that can itch, feel tight, and even hurt. Severe cases of dry skin may cause cracking of the skin, which can lead to dangerous conditions like infection and fissures. Or, your skin may just feel rough and be constantly itchy. Millions of people suffer these symptoms, especially in the winter months, but there is plenty you can do to help alleviate these symptoms and prevent dry skin from happening in the first place.
How to Prevent Dry Skin
- Moisturize! Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Oftentimes because of factors outside of your control such as the weather or the source of heat, your body can not produce enough moisture to keep your skin healthy. A great moisturizing lotion, applied immediately after you shower, can help trap moisture in your skin and prevent it from escaping and drying. Unless you have particularly oily skin, look for a winter moisturizer that is a thick ointment or heavy cream. These types of moisturizers trap moisture in and near your skin, providing a protective barrier against drying.
- Avoid certain ingredients that may cause your skin to be even more dry. Things like alpha hydroxy acids, sulfates, salicylic acid, and even willow bark can be extremely drying. Check your ingredient labels when you are buying soap and body wash, and stick to the natural cleansers that are free of these ingredients.
- Cover your skin in windy or cold weather. While it may not get very cold or snowy in Arizona, even slightly colder temperatures combined with wind can draw moisture away from your skin. A hat, scarf, and gloves can go a long way to preventing dry skin on your face and hands.
- Limit your exposure to water when the climate is dry. While this may seem like the opposite of what you should do, taking long baths or showers in the winter months can be especially drying to your skin. Your skins’ natural oils can be sloughed away when you wash with hot water or use particular types of soaps or cleansers.
- Wear rubber gloves if you have to have long exposure to water, or avoid cleaners that have harsh drying agents, or both. Many cleaners, even dishwashing soap, have cleaning agents that can be rough on your skin, especially around your hands where the skin can be thinner. Wearing rubber gloves can help keep your skin safe from harsh chemicals.
Maintaining Soft and Supple Skin
Keeping your skin safe and healthy during the winter months in Arizona may require a bit of a changeup from your normal skincare routine, but these are simple enough changes for anyone to incorporate easily to help prevent itchy, scaly, rough, painfully dry skin patches for anyone.