The frigid, dry air of winter does more than give you goose bumps and rosy cheeks. Winter air can affect the skin from head to toe, leading to anything from uncomfortable dryness to flaky, itchy, and cracked skin.

Bitter cold, whipping winds, and harsh indoor heat strips skin of the natural oils needed for moisture retention and cell repair. In addition, this acute trauma to the skin can cause conditions like eczema and psoriasis to flare by triggering an inflammatory response.

 

Luckily, you can lessen the toll winter air takes on your skin with a few easy tips.

• Replace Lost Moisture. It’s important to consistently replace moisture that’s lost to dry, winter air with a rich, thick moisturizer. There are hundreds of varieties on the market but look for ones with “humectants,” a class of substances that attract moisture to your skin.

• Protect Skin with Sunscreen. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen isn’t just for the summertime. Exposure to UV rays (amplified by snow glare) can still damage skin and lead to sunburn. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin to stay protected all winter long.

• Use a Humidifier. Indoor heating systems of all shapes and sizes do the same thing: warm and evaporate moisture in the air. This dry air then replaces lost moisture by taking it from your skin. Combat this effect by using a humidifier to replace moisture in the air.

 

With these tips you can enjoy the winter without compromising the health of your skin.