Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How To Beat Winter Itch

While winter may be coming to a close in most areas, my neck of the woods is still accumulating our regular dose of snow & ice. However the season, dry skin is a pain in the a**. This year I was lucky enough to get a severe case of Winter Itch. In a nutshell, that means my skin was swollen, cracking and itchy. 

In order to get any relief, I had to take extreme measures. 
I pretty much have gone into moisture mode. As I do whenever summer draws to an end, I stocked up on lotion and Chapstick. Unfortunately, fate decided that wasn't going to be enough this time around.

I started to notice that I was unable to apply anything to my skin without irritation. I was easily able to go without makeup in order to reduce troubles, but even trying & applying an assortment of moisturizers was painful. I was finally able to figure out a combination of products that have helped.

The first thing I did in attempt to help my skin, was to tone down (and basically eliminate) my face routine. 

•I stayed away from any heavy products (foundation, concealers, ect.) and kept my makeup contained to my eyes and lips, if I applied any at all. 
•I stopped using my alcohol-based facial cleansers and stuck with warm water and gentle soap. 
•I kept anything from coming into contact with my problem areas. (unnecessary touching with hands, make up brushes, ect.) 

& finally, I made sure my face was always moisturized with these products I'm about to show you. 

Right off the bat, I had to do something about the itch. Scratching and touching my skin was not going to help me at all. This leads me to my first step; after cleansing my face of course.

1. Hydrocortisone Cream
This is a product I always have in my medicine cabinet. It completely eliminates any annoying itch on contact. I prefer the cream over the ointment and liquid. Everyone's skin and preferences are different, but I feel like the cream really absorbs into my skin rather than having a liquid sitting on the surface or ointment clogging it. 

2. Nourishing Lotion
After relieving the antagonizing itch, I wanna apply something that will give my skin the pure moisture it's in need of. This lotion moves mountains, I swear. While it isn't oil free, it is in no way greasy and lives up to the 'cream' consistency. I'll just apply a thin layer to my skin, and then repeat once it soaks in. (if needed)

3. Chapstick 
Keeping it simple, I then apply a layer of Chapstick. I mainly apply this to my lips and just keep it on hand throughout the day, but every once and a while I will use my finger to apply a thin bit to my super dry areas and just blend it out. 

4. Aquaphor
Last and definitely not least, this is probably the most effective step in my routine. This is something I rarely use, and I just keep it on hand for new tattoos. In actuality, it is an advanced healing ointment for skin. (hence the use for new ink) This is especially made for dry, cracked and irritated skin. Let me just tell you now, do not cake this on your skin. Regardless of your severe need to heal your skin, you want it to be able to breathe. It is extremely easy to apply ointments heavily, so please keep that in mind. I gently circle my fingertip in the product and softly tap it onto my skin. 

I have been using this routine one or two times a day (three if needed) for about a week and I can tell a huge difference. While I still have a few problem areas, I feel I have regained control of it for the most part.

I hope that this helps if you find yourself in my position. Just remember that my skin and your skin are different. If you find that nothing is really doing the job for your dry & cracked skin, I would recommend looking into a professional opinion. 


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