Winter Skin Care: Don’t Spread Your Winter Moisturizing Routine Too Thin

Winter Skin Care: Don’t Spread Your Winter Moisturizing Routine Too Thin

Brrrrrrr. Baby, it's cold outside. Whether you live in the midwest, the north, or some southern climates, winter weather, even when it's mild, brings a marked change to your skin. And while you might love cuddling under your favorite mohair throw, curling up in front of the fireplace, or even snuggling with a hot water bottle, you need to consider what these changes in the weather mean to your skin.

Interestingly, it's not the winter temperatures that cause your skin to feel dry and chapped; it's the lack of available moisture in winter air that really makes your skin scream for hydration. And while you may be very conscientious about applying moisturizing creams and lotions to your body, you may be forgetting the one element that really counts — water!

When the air is very dry it's like a heat-seeking missile. It targets the areas of greatest moisture content and draws or, literally, sucks up, anything that's available. If its target happens to be your skin, you'll feel it getting drier and drier and on certain areas, like hands and feet, you might actually see your skin crack from lack of hydration. What should you do?

Dermatologists advise that water is the key element in helping to make your skin feel comfortable in the winter, and you should adjust your moisturizing routine to make sure you add plenty of it. It's simple really.

  • Do not towel your skin vigorously after your bath or shower. Rather, let the extra water go to work for you. Seal it into your skin where it can do the most good.
  • Within five minutes of your bath or shower, while your skin is still damp, apply moisturizing lotion everywhere — from your neck to your toes.
  • Make sure your moisturizer has good humectant and occlusive properties. This means it will help draw water to your skin and trap it there. Ingredients to look for are glycerin, petrolatum, and dimethicone.
  • Check to make sure that the first ingredient in either your lotion or cream is purified water.
  • Don't spread your moisturizing lotion or cream too thin. This isn't the time to skimp. Rather, look for products that absorb well into your skin without leaving it feeling greasy or oily. If your skin is especially dry to the touch, or you can actually draw your name into your skin with the tip of your nail, try the following:
    • After you've cleansed your skin in the shower or bath, gently massage an exfoliating scrub over your skin to lift and remove dry, dead skin cells.
    • Apply lotion to your skin while it's damp.
    • Wait five minutes and apply moisturizing cream to the really dry spots.
    • Always apply moisturizer before bedtime and before going outdoors.
    • Don't forget about your face — it has the most exposure in the winter.

This winter look for a lightweight, dermatologist–recommended lotion that helps quench parched winter skin with gentle, yet effective moisturizing ingredients. Add a moisturizing cream as well to provide care for cracked, dry skin on elbows, knees, hands and feet. Use both, in layers, when winter winds and low humidity make your skin feel untouchable and unhappy.




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