To find some relief, using a moisturizer that soothes dry skin is key. “Look for products with ceramides, which are naturally occurring lipids (fats) in the skin,” says Dr. Lortscher. Moisturizers containing ceramides are especially great for those with sensitive, easily irritated skin.
Another big one that you may have never even heard of but have probably experienced? Windburn—you know, that moment when your face turns bright red, dry, and flaky after you’ve spent time outside in the cold and snow. In fact, it feels a whole lot like a sunburn on your face in the middle of December.
In winter we experience the joy of holiday eating, spending time with loved ones, and ringing in a new year. But the colder months can have their downsides as well—from seasonal depression to extremely dry skin to an itchy scalp.
This winter skin condition can make your face dry, red, scaly, itchy, and flaky.
Spending time outdoors during the winter easily ups your risk of the condition. “Skiing is probably one of the most common activities that can cause windburn, but winter runs, snowboarding, long distance bicycling, motorcycling, boating, or other outdoor recreational activities can also lead to this reaction,” says Dr. Kassardjian.
To minimize recovery time, use these tips from Dr. Lortscher and Dr. Kassardjian to speed up your skin’s healing process.
“Many times a person who thinks they have windburn is actually sunburned, but windburn and sunburn often coexist,” says Dr. Lortscher. “While the consequences of sunburn are more severe and long-term, I recommend taking preventative measures to avoid both altogether.”
If you’re super dry and want to try a thicker cream, look for one that contains petrolatum (or petroleum jelly), which forms a protective barrier. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are also great ingredients to scan for, since they are humectants that help your skin draw in water, says Dr. Lortscher.
But why exactly does windburn happen and is it really as bad as dealing with a nasty sunburn? We talked to two board-certified dermatologists to get the scoop on this dry skin condition, including how to treat it, and more importantly, prevent it from ruining your next winter excursion.
Windburn on your face can feel a lot like a sunburn in the middle of winter. This skin condition can make your skin dry, red, and flaky. Here, dermatologists explains how to treat and prevent windburn.