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Winter Skincare

by Marcie Cook Licensed Aesthetician 

As winter approaches and as it gets colder, drier and windier your skin will find it difficult to protect itself. This may happen rapidly, within a week. You will notice your hands and face becoming chapped and dry and your lips just start to feel crusty. Even if your skin was just fine last week. This weather change usually makes your skin less than happy, so you may want to reevaluate your skin care routine. You may find that what you could use yesterday just doesn't seem to be right for you today. Remember that flexibility is key at this time of the year. Extremely irritated skin can crop up quite fast. Keep some extra heavy duty moisturizing cream on hand to handle those problematic areas whenever necessary. If your skin is prone to cracking and drying plan ahead and always carry a moisturizer with you at all times. The easiest way to stop these problems from occurring is to put a barrier between you and the cold, and dry winter weather. If you go outside make sure your skin is as covered as possible if not by clothing then by creams, lotions or balms.

A couple trouble areas on the body include the lips, hands/fingers. Lip balms are great to help keep the lips from drying out. Waxes do not have the ability to rejuvenate or replenish lost moisture. It is recommended to use an AHA nightly to keep lips soft. Probably the biggest problem and complaint that people have in the winter is dry hands/fingers. Hands and fingers take a major beating in the wintertime, because they are most exposed to the elements. If you work with water or chemicals on a daily basis your hands are more likely to dry out. Exposure to water can actually dehydrate the skin more than it moisturizes it. If you think of bath water evaporating as that water evaporates it is actually pulling moisture from the skin. So make sure that after you get out of the bath you are putting on not only a body moisturizer, but a face and lip moisturizer as well. This simple act can save you a lot a pain, skin cracking and itching from dry skin later on.

Some good general rules to follow in the winter is avoid harsh soaps in the bath they will only help to dry out the skin more. Apply a moisturizer immediately when you get out of the bath or shower. This will help to seal the moisture in your skin and will keep it hydrated. Another tip that people don't really think about in the winter is wear sunscreen if you know you're going to be outside. Even if the sun isn't visible the rays are still there and can still do damage. Protect your skin from frostbite. Try to avoid dangerous outdoor conditions. Change your clothes immediately when you come in from skiing, snowmobiling or and any outdoor activity. One of the most important things you can do when traveling in the winter is to carry extra clothes and blankets with you.

No matter what the weather is outside your skin does not have to look badly. Just remember to take care of yourself and your skin and you will look healthy all the time.

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