I use a body wash instead of soap during winter. This winter, I used Dove NutriumMoisture Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash & Deep Moisture Body wash (am still using it) and my skin feels wonderful after I step out of my bath - there isn't the slightest hint of dryness or stretchiness. But if you would rather use a soap instead of a moisturizing body wash or a shower gel, use it sparingly; don't just scrub it all over your body to work up a foamy lather as it could make your skin dry, flaky and itchy. It's great if you are using a mild soap that is specially formulated for winter skin but even then 'Less is more' holds true here, more so, if you have an extremely dry skin. Using a good moisturizer alone won't help. Read this wonderful tip from Dr Schultz on how to avoid winter soap itch.
While we associate using soap with cleanliness, in colder, drier weather (i.e., during the winter), using soap too often can cause over-drying of your skin and uncomfortable itchiness. So how often should you use soap? Unwanted odors occur from bacterial growth in closed-in, moist areas of the body (e.g., under your arms, around your private parts). In these areas, soap should be used daily to remove bacteria and help alleviate odors. On the other hand, your arms, legs, chest and back are not areas that promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria and only emit sweat, which is merely a mixture of salt and water and is conveniently washed away by just water. So limiting daily lathering in the shower to just the essential odor-causing areas of the body and leaving water and occasional soaping to the rest can help you to avoid uncomfortable dryness and itchiness that can last all season long.
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