How to Avoid Dry Skin in Winter
When skin does not attract and retain moisture, it becomes dry and loses flexibility. Tiny cracks can appear, along with chafing and roughness. In more severe cases, skin can become red and inflamed. Skin tends to lose more moisture in winter months, when temperatures are cold and humidity is low. Exposure to sunlight also can dry out skin, even in winter months, so be sure to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater when outdoors. Most sunscreens contain a moisturizing base, which also will help prevent dryness.
Cleanse and Treat Skin the Right Way
Wash your skin with olive, almond or avocado oil. Pat the oil on our skin, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. Avoid harsh soaps, astringents and cleansing creams. Use caution when trying any of these oils.
Moisturize your face in the morning and before going to sleep. Use a moisturizer that contains natural humectants, such as vegetable glycerin, panthenol and vitamin E, which help skin attract and hold in moisture.
Rub the inside of an avocado peel. Apply in gentle upward strokes on especially rough patches of skin. You also can apply a thin layer of olive oil or pure shea butter to dry elbows, feet, arms or other dry areas.
Limit baths or showers to once a day in winter months. Immersing skin in water does not replace moisture and actually can dry out your skin.
Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air in your home or workplace. You also can place a pan of water near a radiator.
Eat Right and Hydrate
Eat a well-balanced diet. It should include whole grains, seeds, nuts and raw fruits and vegetables. Increase your consumption of foods rich in sulfur, such as onions, garlic, eggs and asparagus, which helps keep skin smooth. Eat plenty of orange and yellow vegetables, which contain beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.
Replace vegetable oil or animal fats. Instead, use cold-pressed oils such as extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil or safflower oil. Consuming vegetable oil and animal fats can increase the production of free radicals in your body, which can dry out and damage your skin.
Drink at least 2 qts. of filtered water every day to hydrate your skin. Reduce or eliminate your intake of alcohol and caffeine, which can cause the body and skin cells to lose fluid and nutrients.
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