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If you live in a cold climate, you know what a harsh winter can do to your skin. It can become dry. It can flake. It can itch. It can even crack. But it’s not just cold air causing the problem. Dry indoor heat is a culprit too. Fortunately, there are things we can do to protect our skin during winter months.
Invest in a humidifier. Indoor heat sources like space heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning ovens, and central heating reduce the level of humidity in the air. The drier the air, the drier your skin. Running a humidifier increases the level of moisture in the air and helps keep your skin from drying out.
Talk with your doctor. If you experience issues with your skin, let your doctor know. There may be a medical issue causing the problem. Your doctor could also have some helpful suggestions about keeping your skin healthy.
Avoid hot showers and baths. Frequent long showers in hot water can actually dehydrate our skin by disrupting your skin’s natural balance and robbing it of the moisture present in skin healthy. When it comes to bathing and showering, keep it short, use lukewarm water, pat – don’t rub – your skin dry, and generously apply a thick moisturizing cream.
Keep skin protected. Cover up in cold weather to protect your skin from the effects of frigid winter air as well as from the harmful rays of the sun. Make sure to wear comfortable, breathable fabrics next to your skin that are not irritating. You can always layer thicker, warmer clothing on top. Also make sure your skin is dry (never damp) before exposing it to harsh winter elements.
Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Applying a good moisturizer regularly can improve the look and feel of winter skin. After showering, gently pat - don't rub - the skin partially dry with a towel and apply a moisturizer all over while skin is still damp. This helps seal water into the skin before it can evaporate.
Don’t forget sunscreen. The sun can be just as strong and just as damaging in winter as it is in summer. Always apply sunscreen on your skin before going outside.
Use a non-soap cleanser instead of traditional soap. Traditional soap can strip oil from your skin. It also can aggravate dryness and exacerbate skin conditions. Using a gentle, fragrance-free soap is much better for skin.