A nice, hot steamy shower is one of the best ways to warm up on a chilly winter day. But what toll does it take on your skin? If you forget to use lotion after a hot shower, dry skin may be the result. Moisturizing after a hot shower, especially in the cold winter months is essential to keeping your skin soft and supple. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, sometimes we let our self-care fall by the wayside. And is that really so bad? Turns out, cold winter months can really dry out our skin, so we don’t want to let up on moisturizing our skin, even in this busy time.
According to Refinery29, it turns out that moisturizing your skin right after a shower is VERY important for combating dry skin.Graphic House / Getty
Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, explains that forgetting to moisturize after a hot shower in the winter can have major consequences.
“In biology class, we were taught that water moves from higher concentration to a lower concentration, and that’s exactly what happens post-shower. When you emerge from the shower, you have a higher concentration of moisture compared to the air — especially in the drier months with heaters. So water evaporates off the skin quickly, leaving the skin dry.”
But when you moisturize, some of the water gets trapped on your skin to help keep skin moist. Because you want to trap some of that water, you need to moisturize immediately after you shower.
And it’s not just about moisturizing, if you really want to treat your skin right, you’ve got to exfoliate.Media for Medical / Getty
According to Dr. Engelman, dry skin is missing an important moisture barrier, which causes all the discomfort. To help the moisturizer penetrate into the skin, make sure to exfoliate!
“This helps your moisturizer to penetrate deeply into the skin, locking in natural oils, and aiding in repairing,” she explains. “Depending on the ingredients of the lotion you use, applying it over cracked, dry skin can cause burning and inflammation.”
Besides remembering to moisturizer, Dr. Engelman has a few other tips for good skin.
Add a shot of ceramides to your face lotion to maintain the lipid layer on your face. Also, drink lots of fluids, especially water. Eat plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 oils, which help boost your skin’s hydrating functions. Also, and this one hurts, she says we should turn down our shower temps. Because hot water removes the lipids from the surface of your skin, moisture leaks out and skin becomes dry. Dr. Engelman also suggests that we invest in a lotion that we love, because that will make us want to use it all the time.
We know we have to make a serious commitment to keeping our skin soft.