Does even the mere thought of winter make your skin feel tight and itchy? Learning how your skin reacts to the winter chill and adjusting your skin care will help you keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nose -- and the rest of your skin, too.
Winter weather affects your skin in several ways. Dry skin is the most common result of seasonal weathering. Cold winter air lacks humidity and dries up natural oils in your skin, causing it to lose its moisture [source: Casey]. Bitter winter winds also cause chapping and windburn. This leads to rough, cracked skin that can feel tight and uncomfortable. The obvious solution might seem to be to getting in out of the cold, but during the winter months, indoor heating systems dry inside air, too. Instead of finding relief indoors, you're likely to suffer an extra dose of the drying effect.
All hope is not lost, however. You can take steps to protect your skin by making careful choices about your soap and your laundry products, keeping your skin covered up when outside, and increasing the moisture inside your home. While planning your winter skin care regimen, you should be sure to consider any existing skin conditions. Winter weather not only irritates healthy skin but also can make current skin problems worse. If you have a skin condition such as dandruff, psoriasis or eczema, be aware that winter weather might cause those conditions to flare up [source: Casey].
If you're not sure how best to protect your skin this winter or if your skin looks infected, you should consult your doctor. In the meantime, check out the next page for a few tips for keeping your skin feeling and looking healthy until the spring.