Winter is the time when our skin suffers the most. If we don't count summer burns. Sudden changes in temperature and dry conditions of centrally heated rooms have consequences. It shows in the form of skin flaking. I'm talking about a cloud of dry skin that emerges when I pull my pants off. What makes it even worse is that I prefer to wear black jeans of course. Black hides nothing when it comes to skin shedding. About the same as black turtlenecks and dandruff. Not okay. Because of the cold outside conditions, I love to take hot showers in winter. Who doesn't? After a long day, I indulge in daydreaming for ten minutes under the cozy waterfall and don't think about the problems of life. The bathroom is slowly turning into a sauna, which is a sign that I should get out of the shower. Skin issues begin In less than half an hour after my shower... I'm all itchy. I scratch my shin and try not to make a big deal out of it. But the more I scratch, the more it itches. I roll up my Hello Kitty pajamas and find that my legs are all red accompanied by small cracks on my skin. Where did this come from?

Despite the education and knowledge of the profession, these situations always surprise me. Funny indeed. I browse through my head and compile a list of culprits for the situation. The factors that cause the initial phase of dry and itchy skin can be:

- Low temperature outside
- Low humidity
- Sudden changes in environmental conditions (wind, warm and cold transitions)
- Use of inappropriate shower soaps (excessively drying)
- Excessive (hot) water exposure
- Aging and genetics (skin is thinner, less elastic, less oily over the years)

Exposure to one or more of the factors listed above leads to an unpleasant dry skin situation. Due to loss of humidity and flexibility, cracks appear on the skin. If we do not take action and continue to expose the skin to these factors, the condition only gets worse. This results in dry, itchy, in severe cases very red, irritated and rough skin with an uneven surface.

Low temperatures outside, high temperature inside. Fluctuations (about 20 ° C difference between outdoor and indoor spaces) and dry air (heating) make the skin more prone to dry out in the cooler part of the year. The use of humidifiers is highly recommended (old solution: wet towel over the radiator) and lower but not uncomfortable temperature of heated rooms.

Hot water and inappropriate cleansing products further dry out the skin. Suppose your skin has a protective coat that protects it from water loss. Aggressive cleaning agents and long, hot showers can severely damage that barrier. Without the protective barrier, however, the loss of water from the skin increases. The skin is increasingly more dry and itchy. That is why we are scratching and this is only making it worse. By rubbing, the skin gets even more damaged and irritated.

The first step to improving your condition is a shorter and colder rather than excessively long hot shower. Terrible but real. It is also very important to use cleansing products that moisturize and nourish the skin. It is time to replace your shower gel with cleansing oil or lotion containing ingredients such as glycerin, honey extract, vegetable oils (almond oil, coconut oil, etc.) and fatty alcohols (cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol). You could also do a body scrub once a week that will effectively remove all flaking. Dry brushing is also great for that. It works on the same principle as exfoliation, but also promotes the lymph circulation, which flushes out all toxins from the system. Be careful that the brush is made of natural materials and that don't push too much. The appearance of slight redness on the skin is completely normal. If the skin is excessively red or scratched, you're applying too much pressure. Exfoliation is also great because it makes way for moisturizing products so they can work their magic more efficiently. It is best to apply oil or moisturizing lotion to moist skin immediately after showering. This way, body moisturizers have some water to hold on to and lock into the skin.

Photo from Glossier.