5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Hydrated this Winter


Harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. So what’s really going on when that winter weather hits? Well, freezing temperatures and icy wind, long and hot showers, or the dry air from indoor heat can strip away natural hydrators and leave your skin’s moisture barrier damaged. A weak or damaged moisture barrier can’t maintain moisture in the skin, leaving your skin looking and feeling dull, rough, and itchy. A healthy moisture barrier, on the other hand, works as a shield to keep irritants out and help retain moisture, keeping skin soft, healthy and hydrated.
    So how do you escape the woes of dry, winter skin? Here are five ways to protect your moisture barrier and keep your skin looking and feeling its best from the first freeze to the great spring thaw.

1. Using a Moisturizing Lotion

The best defense against dry winter skin is an effective moisturizer that will keep your skin hydrated. Daily moisturizing before the winter chill sets in will help ensure you start off on the right foot with a strong, healthy moisture barrier. When you are looking for a moisturizer, look for ingredients like ceramides and glycerin. These help the lotion repair the barrier and keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
    Pro tip: thicker isn’t always better. Thick lotions tend to be heavy and greasy and don’t always offer more moisturizing benefits. Instead, focus on finding the best moisturizer for you and your skin care routine.

2. Avoid Harsh Air

  Cold, dry winter air is no friend to your skin. It causes the water content to evaporate more quickly–which means that your skin can lose more than 25% of its ability to retain moisture in the winter! Your best bet is to limit time outdoors and protect your dry, sensitive skin from harsh winter temperatures with soft, warm clothing. Just keeping your skin protected from the harsh elements can make a big difference in the health of your skin. Think hats, scarves and gloves everywhere you go. Stay away from wool to avoid further irritation to rough, itchy skin.

3. Dial Back the Water Temp

A long, hot shower may help you escape the winter chill, but it won’t do much for your dry or sensitive skin. Prolonged exposure to hot water can damage skin’s outer layer, stripping it of  natural moisturizers. Short, lukewarm showers at temperatures between 96-99 degrees Fahrenheit are best for preventing damage.   
    Choose a gentle cleanser specially formulated for dry, sensitive skin and don’t over-exfoliate.
Gentle scrubbing with a wash cloth and foaming cleanser no more than once a week will help shed dead skin cells and leave you feeling squeaky-clean without destroying your skin’s moisture barrier. Here are more tips on protecting your skin from harsh showeringhabits.

4. Turn Up the Humidity

 Much like a hot shower, a warm and cozy house is a welcome escape from cold winter air. But spending so much time indoors with the heat cranked up can be damaging to your skin. Dry, hot air equates to dry, rough skin.
    Instead, set your thermostat to the lowest setting that’s comfortable, and use a humidifier to replace the moisture that gets sucked out of the air by your furnace. The extra moisture around you will help prevent your skin from losing hydration to the environment, keeping it hydrated.

5. Drink Up

Hot coffee, tea and cocoa are staples during the cold winter months, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Dry indoor heat increases he amount of water you lose through your skin each day.
    Hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water and other fluids. But watch the caffeinated coffee and tea. Caffeine can dehydrate your body even more, leaving your skin cells looking and feeling dull and shriveled. Love your steamy tea too much to let go? Opt for decaf or herbal, which will warm you up without drying you out.  
    By following these five simple tips for protecting your skin’s moisture barrier, you can weather the winter with smooth, healthy skin that looks and feels its best.

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