Rethink retinol. While this wonder compound can take years off your face, it can be too drying during winter months. If you use retinol or Retin-A and find that your skin stays dry no matter how much moisturizer you use, you may want to ease up on your use of the product. Try switching to every other day, or every third day, until you see an improvement in skin hydration.
Use a gentle or moisturizing soap in the shower. Most soaps are made of surfactants that strip skin of its natural moisture barrier. Body washes with built-in moisturizers or soaps made for sensitive skin can leave you clean and moisturized at the same time.
Petrolatum-based hand creams can prevent dry, cracked hands. These barrier creams keep moisture where it belongs -- in your skin. At night, apply a super-thick lotion to your hands and feet and cover with gloves and socks. Sleep on it several times a week. The gloves and socks will increase the penetration of the product, leaving your hands and feet super-soft.
Don't forget your lips! The thin skin of your lips dries out faster than any other part of your body. Liking your lips only makes it worse! Keep them covered with a thick lip balm or high-moisture lipstick day and night.
Run a humidifier in your home. Not only can this help you breathe easier, it helps keep your skin moisturized. (Your pets and wood furniture will share the benefits, too!)
Keep your baths and showers short. While luxuriating in hot water on a cold day seems delightful, it sucks all the moisture out of your skin. Moisturize while your skin is still wet. Apply lotion within three minutes of getting out of the shower. Lotions penetrate wet skin more effectively.
Get rid of winter itch with an at-home spa treatment. Shizuka Spa recommends the following: Combine a cup of prepared instant oatmeal, a cup of whole milk, three tablespoons of honey and a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a blender. Process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until warm, but not hot. Massage the mask into clean, damp skin in a steam-filled bathroom and let it sit for up to five minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and follow with your favorite lotion.
Winter is the perfect time to pamper your skin. With a little extra TLC, your skin will be glowing and smooth -- just in time to bare all next summer!
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