This time of year is brutal on my poor, pale skin and so I give this topic a lot of thought. Thanks to WebMD for this information.
1) Avoid hot showers. Hot water strips oils from the skin faster than warm water. Long showers or baths actually dry out your skin. Limit showers to 5- or 10-minutes in warm/not hot water.
2) Use a gentle cleanser or shower gel with moisturizer. Instead of harsh cleansers, go for unscented, soap-free, or mild soap cleansers.
3) Care for your skin immediately after your shower or bath. Pat your skin with a towel, leaving it damp. Apply a moisturizer within three to five minutes to lock in moisture.
4) Look for "ceramides" in your moisturizer ingredient list. Ceramides help the skin hold water and soothe dry skin. Synthetic ceramides may mimic the natural substances in the outermost layer of skin that help keep moisture in.
5) Dimethicone and glycerin are good, too. They draw water to skin and keep it there.
6) Lanolin, mineral oil and petroleum jelly help skin retain moisture, too.
7) Hyaluronic acid may sound harsh, but it's really helps dry skin because it helps it hold water.
8) Hydrocortisone cream and cool compresses help relieve itching.
9) Apply sunscreen all year around, even in winter. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more that says "broad spectrum" on the label.
10) Use a humidifier at home to help keep skin hydrated during winter months when indoor air is dry.
11) Wear cotton. Wool, synthetics and other fabrics can be irritating.
12) Drink plenty of water. Hydrate from the inside out.
13) Eat omega-3 foods. Essential fatty acids can help fortify the skin’s natural oil-retaining barriers. Foods rich in omega-3 include cold-water fish (salmon, halibut, sardines), flax, walnuts, and safflower oil.