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6 Great Tips to Beat Winter Skin Damage

Winter’s harsh winds and icy sleet can be brutal on skin, especially for those with dry skin. To avoid winter’s added dryness, cracking and flaking, you can implement antioxidants and skin repairing ingredients, which are often depleted over time. Simply follow the precautionary steps below and you can beat winter's itch and save your skin.

To begin, follow the highly recommended steps below:

Cleanse the Right Way

Winter causes the skin’s natural oil levels to decline so taking lengthy showers or immersing your skin in water only makes dry, itchy skin worse. Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils. It also breaks down vital substances needed to prevent environmental damage from cold winds and sleet. Make sure to use warm water and limit your showers or baths to no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

I can’t emphasize that enough! Dry skin requires more love and care during the winter so moisturizing often is essential. Be sure to use a fragrance-free cream moisturizer as often as you need. If your skin is extra dry, applying a light layer of olive or primrose oil over your moisturizer will provide relief. This will help protect the skin’s barrier and seal in moisture. Also, because pores are open and skin is still warm after bathing, that’s the time to apply a moisturizer to your body to seal in surface moisture.

Remember: Don’t skip the lips. Lips require natural oils and sun protection to keep them looking their best. Apply a lip balm or lip emollient with an SPF of 25 or higher to your lips daily. Be sure to use a lip balm / emollient that is free of fragrance, mint / peppermint, citrus fruits / oils, eucalyptus, and menthol.

Protect Skin

Often, when we can’t see the sun or feel its heat, we believe sunscreen isn’t a necessity. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The sun, even when covered by gray skies and clouds, emits UVA and UVB rays that are damaging to the skin year-round. Protect your skin with a properly formulated sunscreen and apply at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 25 or higher with a proper combination of UVA and UVB protective ingredients.

For UVA protection look for the following SPF active ingredients:

  • Avobenzone
  • Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

For UVB protection look for the following SPF active ingredients:

  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone

Exfoliate

Exfoliation removes dead, thickened skin cells from the skin’s top layer, helping unbalanced skin regain balance. To soothe and minimize facial dryness, exfoliate daily. Apply an effective AHA or BHA formulation daily, making sure to steer clear of the eye area.

Skip the Soap

Anything in bar form is too harsh for skin. Both bar soaps and facial soaps are too drying and will aggravate skin, making dry skin worse. Instead, use a gentle, creamy cleanser twice daily. Doing so will help provide extra moisture to the areas of skin that need it most.

Add Moisture to your Home

Winter not only dries your skin, it also reduces the amount of moisture in the air. Using a humidifier will reduce low humidity and put moisture back into the air.

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