I know at this time of the year mine sure does. With the heat blasting inside, frigid wind blowing outside and piles of paper going through my hands one page at a time, it seems inevitable that by December my body feels like cracked pottery. Although I usually have normal skin, it's just impossible to not be affected by the extreme temperatures of winter.
Dry skin is usually a sign of damage to the skin's natural barrier caused by over-bathing, environmental changes (such as weather) or allergic conditions, such as eczema. No matter the reason, these three tips will help put your skin on the road to softness again.
1. Bathe less frequently. Take showers or baths with tepid water. Even though hot water feels better in the bitter cold months, it strips your skin of it's natural oils. Once the oils are stripped, your skin becomes dry and flaky. Use as little soap as possible, since soap adds to drying. Try a body scrub infused with healthy oils to keep moisture in.
2. Apply a safe moisturizer (free of the "Dirty Dozen" Ingredients) after bathing to damp skin to prevent the water from evaporating too quickly. Make sure you're using a good moisturizer or creme without parabens or fragrance, since low grade allergic reactions can surface as dry, itchy, scaly skin. Healthy, skin friendly oils can be applied in substitution of moisturizer. Rub avocado, olive, almond or safflower oil into moist skin (make sure you rub in completely in order to avoid transference to clothes).
3. You are what you eat. Even though this statement seems cliche, it is very true, especially when it comes to healthy skin. Restocking your skin's natural oils cannot be done with external moisturizers. This can only be done by feeding your body what it needs to replenish the lost oil. Eat foods rich in unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, fish or by taking an omega-3 supplement. Try to stay away from trans fats, fried food and excessive sugar. All affect the skin's production of healthy, protective oils, which are essential for moist, young looking skin. Make sure to drink plenty (6-8 glasses a day) to keep up the moisture levels.
Winter won't go away in the near future, but you can feel better about your skin now!