I don’t know about you, but I think that tight, itchy winter skin is the absolute worst. It gets brutally dry this time of year in Southern California (and the fires have certainly been too close for comfort). But even in cooler climates where there’s rain and snow, indoor heat will really dry your skin out – even triggering rashes and acne for some folks. Here are some quick tips to keep your skin healthy, supple, and comfortable during the winter:
1. Exfoliate. The first time my wife mentioned that I try this, I raised a skeptical eyebrow. But a good salt scrub with almond oil feels great (I’d recommend avoiding the fragrance- and chemical-loaded store scrubs). The salt sloughs off all that old, scaly stuff, and the oil locks in moisture. I like unscented, of course.
2. Moisturize. Okay, I’m not one to slather on lotion after a shower. Please! That’s why I like using oils instead. In winter, even oily skin can handle walnut, almond, or fruit oils. Plus it’s efficient since you dunk yourself while in the shower. Avoid those mineral oils – they’re petroleum based. Look for vegetable-based oils instead.
3. Watch your diet. Salt, sugar and dehydration are bad for you anytime, but in winter, when your body is more sensitive, problems flare up pretty quickly. Pay heed to your diet during winter more than any other time.
4. Avoid long, hot showers. It’s cold out, you’re a little sleepier this time of year, and a long, steamy shower sounds perfect. But remember this dries out your skin. Keep showers short and as cool as you can handle.
5. Avoid irritating materials. Wool keeps you warm, but try a thin cotton layer between you and your sweater to avoid worsening your dry skin discomfort. Stick to cotton or microfiber socks. For miserably dry, cracked hands and feet, purchase inexpensive moisturizing gloves and socks at the drugstore and let your skin drink up a generous slathering of lotion overnight.
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