Winter is known for drying out your skin. The drastic drop in temperature and noticeable lack of humidity causes skin to get so dry it becomes flakey. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent your skin from drying.

“Preventing dry skin will maintain the cellular barrier and prevent many cases of contact, irritant, and eczematous dermatitis, all of which can lead to skin infections,” board-certified dermatologist David Li, MD, MBA, told 21Ninety.

“Prevention of dry skin is so important, especially for deeper skin ranges and women of color,” aesthetic nurse practitioner at SkinSpirit, Tosin Eyikogbe, MSN, FNP-C, told 21Ninety. “Well hydrated skin acts as a barrier to the outside elements,” the nurse practitioner stated. 

Tips to Prevent Dry Flakey Skin

Preventing dry flakey skin starts with two of your daily routines: skincare and nutrition. When engaging in full-body skincare, it’s important to adjust your routine with the season. “You want to look for humectants and emollients,” Eyikogbe explained. The nurse practitioner named glycerin, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, and shea oil as some of her favorites. Humectants pull water into the skin while emollients lock moisture into the skin.

As for nutrition, Eyikogbe noted that a balanced antioxidant-rich diet is important to maintain the health of the skin. “Melanin works as built-in sunscreen, shielding [you] from harmful UV rays and preventing premature aging,” the nurse practitioner explained. “But it also makes it much harder to absorb the sunlight needed to produce Vitamin D,” she continued. That’s why Eyikogbe recommends replenishing with vitamins A, D, and E along with omega 3s to help keep your skin “youthful, healthy, [and] glowing.” That said, continue to use your sunscreen in the winter. The sun still shines when it’s cold out.

Even though it’s tempting, Dr. Li warned to “avoid hot showers in the winter.” Scalding hot showers can further strip the skin of its natural oils. So, if you take a really hot shower and don’t properly replenish with a nourishing moisturizer, then you’ll notice your skin getting dryer over time. 

All in all, to prevent flakey skin, use more humectants and emollients in your skincare, ensure that you’re eating an antioxidant-rich diet, get your vitamin D, and avoid super hot showers. However, if you ever have questions about what will work best to prevent your skin from becoming dry and flakey, both experts recommend speaking to your medical provider.

Best Body Cream

Eucerin Advanced Repair Fragrance Free Body Cream

Eucerin’s Advanced Repair Fragrance Free Body Cream is a product Dr. Li recommended to help prevent flakey skin. This unscented moisturizer is made with glycerin, shea butter, and sunflower oil. All of which help to deeply nourish the skin. It also has ceramides to lock in moisture for all-day dry skin relief. 

Best Coconut Oil

SheaMoisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

SheaMoisture’s 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a fuss-free addition to a skincare routine that prevents flakey skin. The only thing in this tub is coconut oil. So, you can use it as a moisturizer alone or layer it with your favorite lotions. Additionally, it can be used from head-to-toe – including your hair. 

Best Face Cream

Senté Dermal Repair Cream

Photo Courtesy of Dermstore

“One of my current favorites is Senté Dermal Repair Cream,” Eyikogbe stated. The nurse practitioner mentioned that this powerful moisturizer goes to the dermal layer of the skin to provide hydration from within. The dermal layer is that layer of skin underneath the surface, also known as the epidermis. More importantly, this penetrating formula includes a balanced blend of humectants and antioxidants. 

Best Multivitamin

Nature Made Multi for Her + Omega-3 Gummies

Nature Made’s Multi for Her + Omega-3 Gummies is a daily multivitamin. It includes the recommended vitamins A, D, and E along with omega-3. With two gummies a day, you won’t have to take a bunch of supplements to boost your skin nourishing nutrition. 

Best Shea Oil

BOLDEN Unscented Shea Oil with Vitamin E

BOLDEN’s Unscented Shea Oil with Vitamin E is a multi-purpose product that you can use on your face, hair, and body. Sather this unscented oil on your face, hair, and body as a daily moisturizer. That said, you can also use this product as an oil cleanser to remove stubborn makeup without stripping your skin.

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