This is how you should be showering in the winter
No more cracking, itching, or scaliness
LIFESTYLE Skin care
If you're relying solely on moisturizers to keep your skin soft during the colder months, you're doing things wrong. Moisturizers don't add moisture, they only lock it in, so you have to make sure it's got something to hold.
Enter the critical moment of moisture: your shower. Unfortunately, baths—no matter how good it feels to be submersed in a warm, sudsy slice of heaven during the winter—are completely off the table. The excessive heat works to dehydrate the skin, whereas showers can actually work in your favor.
There are, however, very important ways to shower that will affect how your skin feels and looks for the next day, and The Cut spoke to Dr. Patricia Wexler about how to optimize your routine for the soft, smooth, healthy skin you'd almost given up on.
First, your showers should not be scorching hot. The ideal temperature is lukewarm, so that your pores open enough to be cleaned but aren't scraped of their natural moisture. It'll be good for your heating bill!
Second, your shower should be short, as if you're in a European youth hostel and there's a lineup at the door!
Third, don't use soap. It sounds like the complete opposite of what you've been told your entire life, but you should opt for gentle, soap-free, fragrance-free body washes to limit the use of detergents and glycerin, which can irritate and dry out your skin.
You won't like the next step, but here it is anyway: crank that temperature lever all the way to cold. The sudden flash of cold water closes your pores naturally, protecting it from dirt and sealing in moisture. It also improves your circulation, strengthens your immune system, and it's a surefire way to wake you up. If it makes it more appealing, it's what James Bond does in the films.
Lastly, and most importantly, this is your five-minute window to moisturize. The prime time for working in those creams (avoid lotions, as they have a higher alcohol content and can be more drying) is within five minutes of stepping out of the shower. Pat yourself dry with a towel until you're lightly damp, then slather it on and don't stop for anything.
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