By Ann Lindemann, Senior Health Writer
Depending on which part of the country you reside, this winter has been a cold one and you may be faced with itchy, dry winter skin. It stands to reason that with less moisture in the air, there is less moisture in your skin. And where do you go when it’s cold? Inside… where the heat can be just as dehydrating! Don’t let scaly skin, dull complexion, ragged cuticles and a slew of other winter woes get you down. Check out these tips that can help smooth and soothe your winter weary skin.
- Face Time – During dry, winter months, you want to look for moisturizers containing ingredients (natural humectant) that help your skin retain water. Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, honey and royal jelly, which are popular humectants that not only hydrate, but also draw moisture from the air to form a protective barrier so water can’t escape.
- Body Balm – Scan the hundreds of body creams and lotions lining the drugstore shelves and you’re apt to get dizzy with decision. Pull out your reading glasses and look at the fine print. The most hydrating body creams contain plant-based oils such as avocado oil, shea butter, sesame oil, borage oil or almond oil. These natural therapeutic oils are comprised of lighter, smaller molecules that sink into your lizard-like skin and hydrate longer than mineral oils, such as petroleum that doesn’t fully absorb into the skin.
- Healing Hands – Unlike your body and face, your hands get washed repeatedly throughout the day, which can be extremely drying. Opt for a moisturizing, oil-based bar soap or cream-based, sulfate-free hand wash. Sulfates are the foaming agents found in most detergents. You probably recognize these sulfate names: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate, to name a few. They are all effective in dissolving oil and dirt, but they also strip skin of the lipid (top) layer, leaving behind dryness and irritation.
- Magic Feet Treatment – Don’t forget your tootsies. Before you turn in for the night, reach for some coconut oil or a your favorite hand or body lotion. Massage cream onto your feet and slip on a pair of clean cotton socks. Like magic, in the morning you will awake with wonderfully supple feet!
- Inside Out –Hydrate from the inside out by drinking water throughout the day. This simple practice will help keep your digestive system humming along, expelling toxins, which in turn keep skin clear and glowing.