Dry winter days demand extra attention for keeping healthy, hydrated skin

By Yoon Ki

Winter weather varies across the country, and so does the prevalence of problematic dry skin. In places with harsh winters, such as the Midwest, humidity levels plummet as central heating pumps out hot, dry air. Your skin ends up paying the price. Follow these tips for smooth, hydrated skin. 

waterDrink up. This is honestly the easiest tip out there. Just drink lots of water. It’s good for you even without thinking up the skin care benefits. Drinking water increases blood flow to face. Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent.

moisturizerMaximize Your Moisturizer. Buff your face gently twice a week with a mild exfoliant to clear away dead skin cells as they keep moisturizer from sinking in.
Always use lotion on damp skin. There is about a three-minute window for best results; wait any longer and moisture starts to evaporate from the skin before you can lock it in.

Try New Hydrators. When searching for a moisturizer look out for these ingredients:

Glyceryl glucoside: a supersized version of glycerin, which acts as a humectant. Find it in Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion and Nivea Express Hydration Daily Lotion.

Selaginella lepidophylla: An extract that’s both a humectant and an antioxidant. Try Nuxe Crème Nuxuriance Day Normal to Dry Skin.

Coconut extract: Because this has fats that are similar to those in the skin’s barrier, it can replace the stuff that’s so easily stripped away in winter. Try VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Hand + Body Smoother.

Niacinamide: It strengthens the skin’s outer layer to prevent water loss and speeds up cell turnover. Try Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Moisturizer.

lipbalmCare for Your Lips. Locking in moisture requires a thick ointment. Aquaphor is almost always the ultimate fix. The corners of the mouth crack when saliva gets trapped there as the digestive enzymes in saliva break down the skin. Try layering a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream with a drugstore antifungal (like Lotrimin) and petroleum jelly on the area twice a day.

humidifierPlug up the steam. I suggest using a humidifier in your bedroom, as that will help to add moisture the air. If that’s not possible, try adding a couple of plants to your surroundings. The water in the leaves diffuses into the air and adds moisture.

Other things that will strip moisture: Wearing scratchy fabrics: Wool and synthetic fibers rubbing against you can dry out and irritate sensitive skin. Try wearing a layer of soft cotton underneath.

sunblock creams

Skipping sunscreen: Even in winter, UV rays can interfere with skin-barrier function, reduce ceramide levels and prevent skin from holding onto moisture. Use a lotion with at least SPF 30 or higher every morning and carry a sunscreen powder for touch-ups.

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