The high desert climate of Bend and Central Oregon has many benefits. Few bugs. Not much mold. Warm days, followed by cool evenings. A lack of humidity.

Ah, that last benefit. You may not feel it is a benefit when winter comes and your skin feels like the Mojave once your heater kicks on. There are times in the winter here that our humidity can be in the low teens, and that means your skin will be crying out for moisture.

Here are some tips for winter skin care from your friends at Deschutes Dermatology.

  • Moisturize more — Those moisturizers you’ve been using in the spring and summer may just not cut it during our dry winters. You may look to change from a water-based moisturizer to an oil-based moisturizer. This will create a protective layer on your skin.
  • Sunscreen — Most of you know this, but winter is no time to forget the sunscreen. The sun may be lower in the sky, but it will still fry your skin, particularly if you’re skiing at Mt. Bachelor and the snow is reflecting the sun back up.
  • Pay attention to your hands — Because the skin on your hands is some of the thinnest on your body, and because your hands have fewer oil glands, they can easily dry out. They can even start cracking. Wear gloves when you’re outside and moisturize them, maybe even with a heavier moisturizer than you use elsewhere on your body.
  • Humidify the air — Forced air furnaces create super dry air, as do space heaters under your desk at work. Humidifiers can help. You don’t have to go purchase an elaborate system to attach to your furnace — they often break down due to our hard water — but individual little units here and there can really help.
  • Treat your feet — Like your hands, areas on your feet have thin skin. Plus the bottoms are always fighting dryness in winter. Balms you put on your feet in the summer won’t cut it in the winter. Look for lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerin.
  • Be patient with the peels — Winter in Bend really isn’t the best time for chemical peels. Why? They naturally remove oil from your skin. While mild glycolic peels are OK, anything really harsh should probably wait until spring. Avoid products with alcohol and clay-based cleansers (they draw moisture out of the skin).
  • Avoid steaming hot baths — While they sound good when you’re cold, the intense heat of a really hot bath or shower breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, decreasing moisture. Shorter, lukewarm (which don’t sound good on a cold day) baths are better.

Come see us at Deschutes — If you’re plagued by dry skin, the best solution is to come see us at Deschutes. We can analyze your skin type and match it with products that can keep it more moist in the dry winter months. Call us at [primary_phone] to make an appointment.