Skin care

Protecting Your Skin during the Winter

The chill of winter often brings dry, cracked skin, eczema flare-ups and other uncomfortable skin problems. With these tips, you can protect your skin from the dry, cold air of winter, enjoying a year-round glow.
First, swap your regular moisturizers for those more appropriate for winter. Your skin has less trouble staying hydrated in the summer, so lighter moisturizers are all you need. In the winter, however, dry air both indoors and out can leave your skin feeling parched. Swap your facial moisturizer for a more intensive, thicker version, and trade your body lotion for creamy body butter.

Don’t put your sunscreen away just yet. While the sun’s rays are a bit less intense in the winter, you should still apply sunscreen to exposed skin. This is especially important if there is snow on the ground on a sunny day; the snow can reflect UV rays. Don’t forget to use a lip balm with SPF, too. Don gloves when you go outside. Cold, dry air and wind can chap your hands, making them crack and even bleed. Keep them protected with waterproof, insulated gloves.

When you come in from being outside, use a hand salve or creamy hand lotion to replenish moisture in your skin.
If your gloves or socks become wet, head inside for a new pair. Wet gloves or socks against your skin causes you to chill faster and it make your skin feel clammy. If it is very cold, it can also encourage frostbite, which is a very serious condition.

Add moisture to the indoor air. Furnaces and fireplaces make the air inside extremely dry. Use a humidifier or simmer a pot of water on the stove to add moisture back to the air. This not only keeps your skin and lips from drying out, but it can make it easier to breathe.

Drink plenty of water. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can skimp on the fluids. Your skin needs water all year long, and it’s easy to forget to drink when it’s cold outside. Don’t forget to make up for toasty cups of coffee or alcoholic drinks with extra water, as these beverages dehydrate you.

Skip the hot showers and baths. Very hot water strips your skin of natural oils that keep your epidermis moisturized; this can leave you itchy and scaly when your skin dries. Instead, stick to warm water, and apply a lotion or body oil when you exit the tub to trap moisture in your skin.

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