(Family Features) Cold weather can take a real toll on your skin. Dry skin can lead to discomfort and, if neglected, can affect your skin's elasticity and trigger outbreaks of irritated skin.
Help keep your skin feeling healthy and hydrated this winter with these tips:
Drink water. Hydrating your body from the inside out plays an important role in keeping skin supple and soft. When you're dehydrated, the body pulls water from any source it can, including your skin. A good rule of thumb is at least 8 cups of water a day.
Hydrate with food. You can also boost your internal water reserves by eating foods rich in water, nutrients, vitamins and beneficial fats and oils. Fish, nuts and avocados all contain plenty of essential nutrients that help promote well-hydrated skin. Foods like cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and watermelon also naturally have a high concentration of water.
Use body lotion. Your skin naturally loses moisture throughout the day through evaporation, but you can help trap the hydration you add from bathing by adding a layer of quality lotion. An option like Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotion contains a proprietary botanical blend of nutrients, emollients and antioxidants, including green tea, clove and safflower oleosomes. Its smooth, rich formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling soft with no greasy or oily residue. Formulated by skin care experts, the lotion helps skin stay moisturized for up to 24 hours and is free of 80 of the most common allergens that contribute to rashes and skin sensitivity. Learn more at remedyderm.com.
Protect skin. Exposure to harsh weather can quickly dry and chap your skin, so any time you'll be outdoors, especially for extended periods of time, be sure to cover up exposed areas. Keep an extra set of gloves and a scarf in your vehicle so you're prepared for unexpected time outdoors, whether from an accident or impromptu stop at a local park for some fresh air and exercise.
Change out of wet clothes. Always remove wet clothes as soon as possible. Not only do cold, wet clothes affect your body's ability to regulate internal temperature, they can create friction that leads to uncomfortable and painful skin irritation. If getting wet is unavoidable, consider layering your clothing so you can shed wet outer layers quickly before they can soak through.
Use a humidifier. The indoor climate becomes considerably drier in the winter months when the furnace runs regularly. Using a humidifier can help restore a level of humidity that's better for your skin. Aim for humidity levels in the range of 35-50%; depending on your climate, you may need to err on the lower side of the scale to reduce condensation on windows.
Wear sunscreen. Winter sun rays are just as strong as summer rays, even if you don't feel their heat quite as much. In fact, snow burns that result from sun reflecting off the snow can be even more dangerous than regular sunburns. Protect your skin from burning and drying out by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 any time you venture outdoors.
Lotion Do's and Don'ts
Do use lotion, even when your skin doesn't feel dry. Experts say you should apply moisturizer onto damp skin to help lock in any water sitting on the surface before it evaporates.
Don't use too much. Quality moisturizers are highly concentrated and designed to be effective without a thick layer. If you use too much, it's more likely to sit on the surface of your skin, occlude the surface and potentially trigger breakouts.
Do look for products that match your skin type. While there are common allergens that are present in many lotions, an option like Remedy Dermatology Series Moisturizing Body Lotion is free of parabens, fragrances and aloe that can irritate sensitive skin or allergies.
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