February is here and the cold weather is taking its toll on our skin. If you're skin has been more dry, itchy and chapped lately than please read on. Here are some affordable solutions and products you can find in your local drug store that work.
- Invest in a humidifier. Environmental stress and drying can prematurely age skin. Turn it on right before bed and enjoy the added moisture.
- No more long hot showers or baths. Its causing the skin to dehydrate further by breaking down the lipid barriers in the skin. Cut back on those hot showers and instead use warm temperatures. To help relieve itchy dry skin add oatmeal or baking soda to bath water. Also try adding a few drops of jojoba oil, almond oil or rose water to help your skin soak up some moisture.
- When bathing, try milder soaps like Dove which contain softening moisturizing creams and look for products that provide dual benefits containing moisturizers and antioxidants like Dial moisturizing cranberry and antioxidant body wash. It contains natural cranberry extracts to help retain moisture.
- Pat yourself almost dry and put moisturizer on while skin is still damp to help lock in moisture. Vaseline Clinical Therapy, Keri Original Moisture Therapy (black bottle) and Nivea Essentially Enriched lotions are good choices. Key ingredients you're looking for are almond oil, vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter, alpha-hydroxy acids (gets the old dull skin off to reveal healthy glowing skin), humectants and natural extracts.
- Don't skip the sunscreen during the winter. Sunburn can happen especially when there is snow thanks to the bright sunlight combined with snow glare! So if you're out and about in the daylight (you wear your sunglasses in the winter right?) don't forget your broad-spectrum SPF of 15-30.
- For Face, have a "winter" skin care routine. Find an ointment moisturizer that's oil-based instead of water based. The oil will create a protective layer which will retain more moisture than a cream or lotion. Look for "non-clogging" oils like avocado, mineral, primrose or almond oils. Olay and Neutrogena both have facial moisturizers combined with SPF.
- Avoid using harsh peels, masks and alcohol-based toners or astringents which strip oil from your skin. Instead, use a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, witch-hazel and masks that are "deeply hydrating" and not clay based, which can draw moisture out of the face. Remember the gentler the better especially if you have sensitive or dry skin.
- Invest in a good facial exfoliant to have fresh glowing skin revealed by getting rid of the built-up dead skin cells. There are many good products out there. Some use daily cloths or scrubs, weekly peels or night creams. Soon you'll notice a more even tone and softer complexion.
- To keep lips soft and prevent chapping, find a solid lip balm with sunscreen protection. Blistex even makes one that has a hint of sheer color added called Lip Tone with SPF 15.
- Your hands, nails and cuticles will also need to be protected from this cold winter air. Wear gloves/mittens and keep hand lotion in your purse. Dove Pro-Age hand cream works amazingly well- you'll notice less brittle nails, less split dry cuticles and softer younger looking skin. Its loaded containing alpha-hydroxy acid, glycerin, olive oil and SPF! The skin on our hands are very thin making it difficult to contain moisture in the cold. To help prevent premature aging of your hands keep them well moisturized.
Well there you have it. Now let's try to stay warm!