If you are one of the many shivering in record-low temperatures, these skin-nurturing tips from dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., are right on time. “As winter weather brings in the cold air, the lack of humidity will start to dry out our skin and make it more difficult to keep skin hydrated,” she explains.
Use Dr. Woolery-Lloyd tips below to help to preserve and protect your skin from the ravages of winter chills.
Step up your moisturizing routine. Our poor hands often feel the brunt of the winter weather on two fronts: the exposure to the elements outside paired with the increase of hand washing to ward off colds and flu. “Use hand cream several times a day,” Dr. Woolery-Lloyd advises. “Apply hand lotion after washing your hands and before putting on gloves. Stash lotion in your purse and use it whenever your hands could use a little added moisture.” Cracked dry hands are never cute.
Don’t forget sunscreen. Just because the warmth of the sun eludes you now doesn’t mean the rays aren’t causing damage. “Wear sunscreen with an antioxidant daily. Even if it’s the middle of winter, you can’t skimp on skin protection. Believe it or not, in the winter your face is even more vulnerable to the sun’s rays due to the harsh combination of sun and wind.”
Protect your pucker. Create a barrier to shield delicate lip skin. Dr. Woolery-Lloyd suggests wearing lip balm with sunscreen as an added healthy bonus.
Say no to hot water. OK, this one sounds counterintuitive during chilly weather, but avoid long hot showers. The heat will only strip your skin of its natural oils. Add to that the arid indoor air caused by ramping up the heater and moisture-deprived skin gets dried out even more. Go with lukewarm water instead. We promise, your body will get used to it and it goes a long way in protecting your lipid layer (the protective barrier that keeps moisture from escaping your skin’s cells).
Switch it up. “Consider swapping your exfoliating masks to hydrating ones in the winter time,” Dr. Woolery-Lloyd says. Use one weekly to restore moisture loss.
Marcia Caster is a New York-based beauty editor and writer.
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