Protect your skin this winter

Tips for avoiding dry, cracked skin

Contributed by Cathy Fricke, skincare specialist

snow on treesChilly temperatures, cold winds, low humidity, and dry indoor heat cause water to evaporate from skin. But that doesn’t mean you have to surrender to dry, itchy skin. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to keep skin healthy and hydrated when the thermometer dips.

  • Drink plenty of water

Hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water. Green tea is also good—especially on cold winter days. How much? A good rule of thumb is eight ounces, eight times a day.

  • Get a humidifier

A room heated by a furnace can have as little as 10 percent moisture. If you don’t have a humidifier connected to your central heating system, put a humidifier in your bedroom and keep the doors closed so the moist air doesn’t escape the room.

  • Take lukewarm showers and baths 

Hot water robs skin of moisture causing it to become dry. If the thought of lukewarm water makes you shiver, try to keep your bathing time short and limit it to once per day.

  • Exfoliate once a week

In the winter your skin is constantly turning over, and that dead layer of skin needs to come off in a gentle fashion. A good body scrub and facial exfoliant can help remove dead skin cells from your body. *If you have dry skin and you put moisturizer on and it feels like it’s sitting on top of your skin, you’re not exfoliating enough.

  • Moisturize

After exfoliating, it’s important to seal in as much moisture as possible. Choose a moisturizer that comes in an ointment form as it will contain 80 percent oil. Creams and lotions tend to dry out the skin rather than keep it moisturized and soft.

  • Repair and protect

During summer, dark spots on the skin get darker and redness gets worse. The winter, when you’re not in the sun, is a great time to repair damage from sun exposure. But just because it’s not summertime doesn’t mean you get to take a break from sunscreen. Even on a hazy day, you’d be amazed at how much sun you can get.

The Women’s Center offers a variety of cosmetic and aesthetic procedures to help you look and feel younger.

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