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Tips For Healthy Skin All Winter Long!

When talk turns to taking care of your body the conversation often focuses on exercise, healthy eating, and regular doctor visits. While those aspects of self-care certainly play a part in staying healthy, many of us neglect taking care of our largest and most protective organ, our skin.

Your skin is responsible for protecting your body from external threats, regulating your body temperature, and sensing environmental stimuli. Year-round skin care is an important part of ensuring you live comfortably and identify issues as they arise. Unlike internal aspects of your body, changes in your skin can be observed and addressed quickly with a proactive approach to health.

Effective skin care doesn’t end when temperatures start to drop. Taking precautions year round allows you to maintain healthy skin and reap the benefits every day.

11 tips for healthy skin this winter

  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated. Dry skin may be helped by food or vitamins containing healthy fats, and drinking plenty of water provides your body with moisture from the inside out.
  • Turn the heat down. During the winter we use external heat sources every day. Unfortunately, that same warm air is also dry, potentially causing your skin to dry out. Setting your thermostat set around 68 degrees may help the air in your home or office from becoming too dry.
  • Use a humidifier to increase the moisture levels in your environment. Adding moisture to the air at home or work can help keep you skin hydrated, making it less likely to dry out.
  • Limit your shower time and temperature. While a long, steamy shower may sound like a good idea, it may be wise to limit the time you spend under hot water. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a 5-10 minute lukewarm shower or bath to best care for your skin.
  • Use sunscreen, even when it’s not sunny. Applying a high-quality sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher can decrease your risk of sunburn. Don’t skip overcast days though. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can penetrate clouds and cause damage.
  • Change out of wet clothes quickly. Wet clothes can cause chafing and itchiness if worn too long. If possible, dry off and change into clean clothes as soon as possible after getting wet.
  • Use gentle cleansers. Scented or harsh soaps and cleansers can be irritating. Winter skin problems may be prevented by using smaller amounts of gentle soap to bathe.
  • Adapt your facial skin care plan as the seasons change. During the winter months, limiting the use of cream-based cleansers and alcohol-based toners can help keep your skin moisturized. Using a rich moisturizer on your face twice a day may be beneficial as well.
  • Moisturize regularly. Moisturizing after bathing and washing hands can help prevent drying out. Using a cream in the winter months may be more effective than a thinner lotion, and wearing waterproof gloves when cleaning dishes can prevent excessive drying.
  • Cover up with clothing and choose breathable, non-irritating items for your base layer. Fabrics that rub and irritate the skin can be uncomfortable. Choosing soft, breathable fabrics under heavier layers can keep your skin soft.
  • Don’t forget your lips! Using a moisturizing product made for your lips can help prevent chapping or increase healing time once damage occurs. Using a product with SPF can provide additional protection.