10 Winter skin care tips

winter skinThe weather outside may be unsightly, but your skin doesn’t have to be. How to banish dry skin and give your winter skin care regimen a boost.

1. Seek a Specialist

If you go to your local drugstore, you’ll be hard put to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment. Such a specialist can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using. 

2. Moisturize More

You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer.  But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine.  Find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. (Hint: Many lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based.)

But choose your oils with care because not all oils are appropriate for the face. Instead, look for “nonclogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Shea oil — or butter — is controversial, because it can clog facial pores.  You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin. 

3. Slather on the Sunscreen

No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time. 

4. Give Your Hands a Hand

The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside; if you need to wear wool to keep your hands warm, slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.  A great at home remedy to cure dry hands is to slather on coconut oil and cover with a pair of socks wear overnight. 

5. Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks

Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema. 

6. Hook Up the Humidifier

Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home; they help disperse the moisture more evenly. 

7. Hydrate

Remember to drink your 6-8 glasses a day even when it is cold outside.

8. Grease Up Your Feet

Yes, those minty foot lotions are lovely in the hot summer months, but during the winter, your feet need stronger stuff. Try finding lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically; that helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper. 

9. Pace the strong Anti-Aging products

If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh products, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are “deeply hydrating,” rather than clay-based, which tends to draw moisture out of the face. And use them a little less often. 

10. Ban Superhot Baths

Sure, soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great after frolicking out in the cold. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. You’re better off with just warm water and staying in the water a shorter amount of time. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy,  Also,  periodically reapplying your moisturizer thorough out the day helps . If those techniques don’t work, go see a dermatologist.

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