Skin is an amazing thing. As the body's largest organ it protects us from heat and cold while holding in elements that we need (like water), and shields us from those we don't (ultraviolet light and germs). But when the barometer drops, all that can change. Cold winds coupled with dry indoor heat, hot showers, and low humidity sap moisture, leaving you with flaky, overly sensitized skin, brittle, lifeless hair, and chapped lips. But chilly temperatures alone aren't to blame. According to Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Mount Clair, New Jersey, and co-author of Beautiful Skin of Color, several other factors can exacerbate skin dryness.
- Genes: Maybe you have fewer oil glands than other women, or suffer from eczema, a hereditary disorder.
- Smoke: Yet another reason to stop smoking? Smoking is drying to the skin's surface.
- Hormones: As you age and estrogen production decreases, the skin produces fewer oils and cell turnover slows down, resulting in flakiness.