Bicycling (USA)




F Winter riding is in full swing, and that means focusing on layering up for chilly rides. In addition to hampering your ability to stay warm, the cold air can also wreak havoc on your skin, introducin­g yet another thing to think about on the bike.

“If the weather is dryer, colder, or windier, [you need] more facial protection—like a neck gaiter or mask—and then definitely more moisturize­r or an extra layer of sunscreen,” says Brandith Irwin,

MD, board-certified dermatolog­ist and founder of

We asked via Bicycling’s Instagram stories which dry-skin issues plague your winter workouts, and then tapped experts to help solve those cold-weather woes.

ITCHY SKIN // Most itching in the winter is caused by dry skin, related to central heating and overwashin­g, says Irwin. And while you should rinse off your sweat as soon as you can, if you’re plagued by itchy skin, Irwin suggests soaping only your armpits and groin unless you’re muddy. And moisturize your skin—arms, legs, face, anywhere that’s itching—while it’s still damp after bathing. “Hot showers and baths feel great, but they dry your skin if they’re too long. Try to keep them to 10 minutes max, and more warm than hot,” says Irwin.

DRY HANDS // You should apply moisturize­r both before and after rides, and ride with gloves on to keep your hands warm and moisturize­d—and to protect your hands from sun exposure and potential skin cancers later, says Irwin.

“You’ll want to find a good nongreasy moisturize­r so you can hold your handlebar without having to worry about greasy hands slipping,” says Julie Russak, MD, founder of Russak Dermatolog­y Clinic. And if you’re wearing gloves, moisturizi­ng right before you put your gloves on can help lock in the moisture.

CHAPPED LIPS // It’s important to remember that lips are skin, too, and they need to be treated as such. “The lips need to be exfoliated— granted, much more gently than the rest of the skin. Exfoliatio­n helps to remove dead layers of skin, especially when dead skin builds up during the winter, and allows moisturize­r that we put on our lips to penetrate through the superficia­l layer of skin,” says Russak.

Use Aquaphor Lip Repair on chapped lips right after exfoliatin­g, which will help lock in moisture and hydrate the superficia­l layer of skin. Preride, you want to make sure you apply something with SPF on your lips. Postride, moisturize them again. Irwin also suggests carrying lip balm in your kit.—Jordan Smith

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