It’s a fact of life: Cold weather dries our skin. That’s because when temperatures drop so does humidity. Add to that our attempts to keep warm—relying on indoor heating systems that dry indoor air, lingering in steamy baths and showers when it’s chilly, even wearing moisture-robbing wool clothing—and you have a recipe for parched, ashy, itchy skin.
But you don’t have to suffer in the skin you’re in during the winter. Here are some sound measures to take to keep you comfortable and glowing:
Switch from the lightweight cleansers and moisturizers that got you through the spring and summer to bath and body items that are more substantial. Go for creamy, moisturizing bar or liquid soaps. Look to lotions and creams containing humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and urea that draw in moisture, and emollients like lactic acid, lanolin, shea butter, silicone and mineral and plant oils to protect and lubricate skin.=
Make it quick.
Take short baths and showers and keep the water temperature comfortably warm rather than steaming hot. Apply lotions and creams to your skin while it’s damp to lock in moisture.
Sloughing off dry skin once or twice a week actually helps moisturizers to better penetrate your skin.
Moisturize skin throughout the day, particularly hands and lips, which are the most susceptible to dryness and chapping from being exposed to the elements.
Zap dry indoor air.
Invest in a humidifier. Or if you have radiators, try placing containers of water on them for the same hydrating effect.
Wool sweaters, socks and gloves absorb moisture and can aggravate sensitive skin. To avoid it, layer silk or soft cotton fabrics under you woolens to help skin breathe and wick away perspiration while adding a lightweight layer of warmth.
Getting plenty of H2O is just as important during the colder months as it is when it’s warm. Staying properly hydrated diminishes the appearance of dry, dull-looking skin.
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