shutterstock_226992553Winter gives your skin a double whammy. When outside, cold temperatures and high winds combine to stress your skin. Indoors, warm air from the furnace continues the work, drying it out to produce dull, lifeless and sometimes cracked skin. Skin health doesn’t have to suffer during colder weather if you use simple techniques to alleviate dry skin. Follow these skin tips for great-looking skin over the next few months.

Use Sunscreen. Yes, it’s important even in winter. The sun may not be out much, but your skin still needs protection. Winter sun combined with snow glare can damage your skin. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide does a great job of repelling rays before they enter your skin.

Moisturize More. Light moisturizers are great for spring and summer, but as the weather changes, so must your routine. Choose a moisturizer that is oil-based to create a protective layer over skin, but choose with care. Look for oils that won’t clog the pores such as avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil or almond oil. Lotions with glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy that attract moisture to your skin are also good. For your entire body, mix a few drops of olive or grape seed oil into bathwater, or try an oatmeal bath to make irritated skin feel better.

Ditch Overly Hot Baths. Speaking of baths, soaking in a hot tub may feel great in chilly weather, but your skin won’t thank you. The intense heat breaks down lipid barriers leading to a loss of moisture.

Take Extra Care of Hands and Feet. Winter takes a heavier toll on your hands because the skin there is thinner. Wear gloves outside and apply moisturizer frequently, especially after washing your hands. For very dry hands, apply cream instead of lotion. Applying cream right before bed and then wearing cotton gloves is a great way to avoid extreme dryness.

Similarly, don’t let your feet, especially the heels, turn into a callused and cracked mess. Exfoliate and moisturize frequently and don’t forget to wear socks at night to help creams absorb.

Sometimes no matter what your do, your skin health suffers in winter so much so that you need a prescription or professional advice. Visit the professionals at Universal Dermatology before your dry winter skin turns into a crisis.

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