Most people think of winter as the season for dry, itchy skin — especially in Montana, where frigid temperatures and heated indoor air leave skin cracked and moisture-deprived. But summer weather can be equally troublesome for skin, especially here in Montana, where hot, dry conditions are typical of the summer months. It’s important to remember that some habits that seem harmless could actually leave your skin feeling even more irritated. Here are five ways to combat dry, itchy skin during the summer:

  • 1

    Wear the right kind of sunscreen

    Sunscreen helps prevent skin-damaging sunburns, and for the best results, you should use a lotion variety that contains aloe or other moisturizing agents. Avoid sunscreens that come in a continuous spray bottle — most of them contain alcohol, which can further dry out your skin

    Photo courtesy of earthlydelights/Flickr
  • 2

    Stay in the shade

    The sun sucks the moisture right out of your skin. Plus, hot temperatures cause you to perspire, further dehydrating your body. Whenever possible, you should stick to cooler, shadier areas. Your skin will thank you.

    Photo courtesy of Runder/Flickr
  • 3

    Drink water

    You might crave a margarita or an iced latte while you’re lounging poolside, but caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics that negatively impact your body’s hydration levels. Quench your thirst by sipping water, juice or sports drinks instead.

    Photo courtesy of waferboard/Flickr
  • 4

    Towel off quickly and thoroughly

    When water evaporates off of your skin, you lose some of the natural oils that keep it from drying out. So when you get out of the pool/lake/river, don’t air-dry. By using a towel to absorb excess water before the sun has a chance to work its magic, you will help preserve your skin’s moisture.

    Photo courtesy of RichardBH/Flickr
  • 5

    Exfoliate and moisturize

    Exfoliation helps your skin better absorb moisturizers. Lather up with a gentle exfoliating scrub in the shower, then follow with a thick coat of lotion — preferably one containing SPF — soon after you dry off.

    Photo courtesy of John Loo/Flickr