For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin. For some, the problem is worse than just general tight, dry feeling. They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed).

1.) Moisturize More

   Moisturize right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream of lotion. Be careful, not all oils are appropriate for the face. Look for “nonclogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin. 

2.) Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

  Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.

3.) 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. Use a deep moisturizing balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.

4.) Use a Humidifier

   Central heating systems, as well as space heaters, blast hot dry air. 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.

5.) Exfoliate Your Feet

   Find lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine instead. And use exfoliants to get the dead skin off.  Exfoliating helps any moisturizers you use to sink in faster and deeper.

6.) Avoid the Peels

   If your facial skin is dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Use a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are “deeply hydrating.”  Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe And use them a little less often.

7.) Forego the hot Baths

   Soaking in a burning-hot bath feels great. But the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture.  A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve skin that is so dry and itchy. Reapply your moisturizer.  

8.) Drink Water

   In the winter we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.

9.) Get Your Vitamins

   Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider an omega-3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.

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