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Cold Weather Skin Tips

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The winter months are some of the harshest months on your delicate skin. But you can follow these tips to help protect your skin from the harshness of winter and your body will thank you for it.

Don't forget the sunscreen- Just because the temperature drops doesn't mean the ultraviolet rays have gone away. While the UVB rays are weaker, you shouldn't skimp on the sunscreen during the winter months. Dermatologists suggest using a cream or moisturizer with an SPF of 30 year round.

Turn down the thermostat , just a few degrees- Surprisingly people who spend most of their time outdoors aren't the ones with dry, peeling skin. It is just the opposite. Those people who spend their time indoors with indoor heat constantly are those who experience parched skin the most. If you can, turn down the thermostat a few degrees and use a humidifier to put some moisture in the air. This combination will help to replace some moisture in your skin and will alleviate parched skin.

Nutrients are key to quench dry skin- While many people believe that drinking an abundance of water will help quench dry skin, dermatologists suggest that getting the appropriate nutrients is more important than downing water when it comes to healing dry skin. Getting appropriate levels of omega-3 fatty acids through a diet rich in foods like salmon and halibut can help to combat skin dryness. The acid in these types of fish lessens inflammation and plays a huge role in strengthening the lipid layer, thereby helping your skin retain its natural oils.

Skip the long, hot baths- While a good long soak in a hot bath sounds like just what the doctor ordered after a day out in the elements, that hot bath is a big no-no when it comes to protecting your skin in the cold. Taking a bath that is warmer than your body temperature opens up your pores and releases the moisture that your body desperately needs during the winter. If you would like a bath over a shower, limit your time in the tub to about five minutes and be sure to use a creamy oil wash to give your skin that moisture back that it may lose.

Exfoliate rough feet- While the logical cure for dry feet is to moisturize them, dermatologists suggest that exfoliating your feet should be the cure instead. A moisturizer cannot work if you continue to put it on dead skin. Once you get rid of those rough spots on your feet, then the moisturizer you use will take to your feet so much better. Try a crystal buffer while your feet are damp or a stainless steel file while your feet are dry for the best results.

Avoid licking lips- Overusing lip balm is not the culprit when it comes to dry, cracked lips. Instead the culprit is more than likely the acid from your saliva left on your lips when you lick them. The skin on our lips is very thin and when that acid, which is used for digestion, is left on the lips for extended periods of time, dryness occurs. Make a conscious effort not to lick your lips when you are out in the elements and use a lip balm with softeners like shea butter or jojoba oil. Avoid minty lip balms as they may contain a drying menthol which will defeat the purpose of wearing the balm to begin with.

While these are only a few tips to protect your skin this winter, we hope that this is a good jump start for you and that the winter won't be as painful on your skin this year or in years to come.