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Taming Winter

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Old Man Winter sure does a number on your skin. Cold temperatures dry the air and rob skin of moisture, making us run for shelter, where artificial heat finishes the job - leaving our skin feeling rough and itchy.

Old Man Winter sure does a number on your skin. Cold temperatures dry the air and rob skin of moisture, making us run for shelter, where artificial heat finishes the job leaving our skin feeling rough and itchy. Take the sting out of winter with a few skin-saving strategies.

Start in the Bathroom

To keep skin glowing, gently exfoliate your face at least once a week. Dry-brushing your body from head to toe before your shower improves circulation and helps to shed dull, dry flakes. If you relish a winter bath, turn your relaxation into skin therapy by adding essential oils to the water. Avoid deodorant soaps containing sodium laurel sulphate, which dehydrates skin. Bathe or shower in warm water for no longer than 15 minutes, as languishing in a hot soak will steal moisture from your skin.

After bathing, while your skin is still damp, apply moisture cream to trap precious water. Do your face first, as dry air in the house can quickly pull excess water from delicate facial skin. Use a quality hand cream each time you wash your hands.

Creamy Indulgences

Rather than using expensive drug store lotions containing chemicals that irritate dry skin, check out some of the oils available at your health products store. Jojoba oil is light enough to use on the face and is perfect for all skin types. For your body, try macadamia nut oil, an excellent emollient for dry hands, legs, and feet.

To pamper feet that have been crammed in tight shoes and warm boots, try a soothing soak in mineral salts combined with a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Pat with a towel, then slather your feet with shea butter and pull on a pair of warm, woolly socks.

Before spending time outdoors at chilling temperatures, cover exposed skin with an occlusive moisturizer that closes pores and acts as a barrier against water loss. Try just a dab of cocoa butter too much will feel greasy. Avoid petroleum jelly or mineral oil as these products block pores, leading to unhealthy skin and increased moisture loss. Treat dehydrated skin with soothing calendula ointment, or prick an evening primrose capsule and massage the oil directly onto irritated skin.

Humidify Your Home

Keep your home skin-friendly by making sure that air is not too dry. Invest in a humidifier, or place several bowls of water strategically around your home. You may also notice fewer sore throats, nosebleeds, and dry eyes when your home has proper humidity.

Moisturize From the Inside

Skin dryness is all about water loss, so do what you can to put back the water you lose through perspiration and low humidity. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of pure, filtered water daily. Eat water-filled fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, squash, carrots, and apples. Enjoy delicious soups, which are perfect for winter.

You'll want to ditch the coffee habit, as caffeine is a diuretic that causes you to lose precious H20. For a healthy alternative, a mug of hot green tea will warm your bones while offering much-needed antioxidant protection for weather-weary skin cells.

Also eat nuts, seeds, and fish, foods high in essential fatty acids (EFA), which form the lipid membrane of our skin cells and offer protection against moisture loss. Bolster EFA levels with flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, or borage oil capsules.

Keep Old Man Winter at bay this year with these skin care tips. Come summer, you'll still have beautiful skin to bare.

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