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You came home; it is the middle of winter and bitterly cold. You have just been on a trek to the store and now your fingers do not seem to be responding to any messages your brain is sending and you think you have given new meaning to the phrase “frozen solid.” You look across the room, steam is pouring from the radiator. Impulsively, you walk over. The heat is seductive. You feel your blood returning to your extremities. So lovely……
You wake up three hours later. Oh, no! What have you done? You’ve spent three hours in exposing your skin to dry air! What were you thinking? You know how damaging indoor heating can be to your skin! Your mind thinks of ways to reverse potential harm. Well, calm down, before you start toying with the idea of spending the next three hours in an icy cold shower, you should know there are better ways of reversing winter skin damage.
You may be perfectly happy with your spring and summertime moisturizer, but as weather changes, so, too should your moisturizer. Look for an oil-based “ointment” moisturizer, as opposed to a water-based one, as oil creates a protective layer to help skin retain hydration better than a lotion.
Also, make sure you choose something with “non-clogging” oils, such as mineral oil, avocado oil, or primrose oil. Lotions containing humectants (sorbitol, glycerine, and alpha-hydroxy acids) are also recommended for their moisture-attracting properties.
Where there is sun, let there be sunscreen. Winter sun may be less intense than summer sun, but it can still do damage. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your hands and face half an hour before leaving the house and reapply if necessary.
Because the skin on your hands is thinner than that on other parts of your body, it makes it harder to keep them moist, especially in the winter. To prevent itchiness and cracking, always wear gloves when you’re outside.
Ah, the central heating system can be so hypnotic, but it is also so bad for your skin. Humidifiers help to restore moisture to the air and keep your skin from drying out. Place a few small humidifier throughout your home to evenly disperse moisture.
Take Care of Your Feet
If you love a good pedicure, the winter is the best time to indulge. Slather on the lotions containing glycerine and petroleum jelly for the heavy duty work. Exfoliants also come in handy for sloughing off dead skin and also helps with the absorption of moisturizers.
In the winter, you certainly don’t need to apply anything to your face which might strip skin of vital oil. Avoid alcohol-based astringents and toners in favor of a mild foaming cleanser or milk. Use an alcohol-free toner and choose hydrating rather than clay based masks, which tend to draw moistures away from skin.
Keep the Water Temp Low
A hot bath can be one of life’s greatest winter pleasures, but intense heat can break down lipid barriers in the skin, leading to moisture loss. According to Bonnie LaPlante, an esthetician with Canyon Creek Resort, “you’re better off with just warm water and staying in the water a shorter amount of time.”
How do you reverse the harsh effects of winter on your skin? Share your beauty secrets with us!