Keep your skin alive in the dead of winter by following these simple skin care dos and don’ts.
Lotions and creams don’t add moisture to your skin, but they help trap in moisture that’s already present. Apply lotion within a few minutes after showering, bathing or washing your hands to effectively lock-in moisture. Look for lotions containing humectants (glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture.
Oil-based lotions also work well as oil creates a protective moisture retaining layer on the skin. For the face, use lotions with avocado, mineral, primrose or almond oil as they won’t clog pores, or look for lotions labeled non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).
If lotions aren’t enough, try creams. The drier your skin, the thicker the skin cream you’ll want to use. For those who dislike the feeling of slippery skin or have sensitive skin, try unscented Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream.
DO NOT Take Long Hot Showers
Bathing strips your skin of its natural oils. Hot water in particular breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can account for moisture loss. Reduce shower time and take warm showers, not hot, in order to retain your skin’s natural moisture. Also, try using a moisturizing body wash to further lock in moisture.
DO Use Sun Protection
UV rays from the sun don’t disappear during the winter. In fact, snow, ice and other reflective surfaces often refract UV rays making them more intense. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face and any exposed skin 30 minutes before venturing outside.
DO NOT Ignore Hands and Feet
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. Wear gloves when you go outside, but also wear gloves inside when doing common household chores, such as dishes. If your hands are extremely dry, before bed put on moisturizer followed by a pair of cotton gloves to lock-in moisture overnight. Also, avoid wet gloves in order to prevent itchy, cracked, or severe skin conditions such as eczema.
For your feet, use exfoliants to get the dead skin off periodically and help moisturizers sink in faster and deeper.
DO Drink Water – and a lot of it
Water may not have any direct affect on the condition of your skin, but drinking an adequate amount of water (10-12 glasses a day) is good for overall health. The average person’s skin does not reflect the amount of water being drunk, but severe dehydration is not good for dry skin either.
DO NOT Be Afraid to Seek a Specialist
If none of the above skin tips help — get help! Dermatologists in particular can help you troubleshoot your skin problem and recommend skin care products that may work better for you.
To purchase moisture-locking lotions, creams or broad-spectrum sunscreens, visit http://www.coolibar.com/skin-care.html
WebMD – 10 Winter Skin Care Tips