Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Hydrating your winter skin is the best way to treat dry, itchy skin. During the winter, moisturize your face in the morning and evening right before going to bed. You'll start feeling a difference in your skin almost immediately. As you try different winter skin care products, some may have a lighter feel and others may have a greasy feel. The benefit of shopping for winter skin care products at a department store versus the drugstore is that you may be able to request samples of winter skin care products from the makeup counter and try a few before you commit. A couple of our all-natural faves for winter skin care from the drugstore include Burt's Bees Carrot Seed Oil Complexion Mist and Nature's Bounty Vitamin E Cream, both under $10.
Re-apply during the day
Just because experts recommend moisturizing in the a.m. and p.m. , especially during the winter, doesn't mean you have to limit your facial interaction to twice a day. In fact, carry those extra trial sizes in your purse all winter-long and you'll be ready to moisturize at a moment's notice. Flaky and dry skin in the winter is caused by dehydration thanks to the artificial heat that dries the air around you.
Remember the hands and feet
Your face isn't the only place that will crave some good ol' fashioned lotion or cream loving during the winter. Your hands and feet may also become dry and itchy during the winter, so be sure to extend your winter skin care to the rest of your body. Moisturize your heels before you put on your shoes in the morning. Whether you're out and about doing errands or on your way to the office, your socks will soak in the moisture all day long (or we recommend buying pair of Shea butter-infused socks, $5, from Bath & Body Works – the moisturizing fibers last for up to 25 washes and they're ooooooh so comfy during cooler winter months). At night, you can use a heavier moisturizer and wrap your mitts in a pair of night gloves, which will soak in moisture as well.
Use face-friendly soap
If you think you've found a great moisturizer for your winter skin care routine and your skin is still dry and itchy, your face soap may be the culprit. Beware of soaps for acne-prone skin – many contain acids that are drying and counteract the moisturizer you're using. Look for creamy face washes loaded with vitamin E or Shea. Natural soaps are great since they typically contain aloe vera, cocoa butter, avocado or vegetable oils.
Check the ingredients
Beauty products use specific ingredients to moisturize skin and add elasticity throughout the day. Similar to how we read food labels to see what chemicals we're putting into our body, we should also start reading ingredient labels to see what we're putting onto our skin. In fact, some of the best skin care moisturizers for winter come from natural oils. Something as simple as almond oil or extra virgin olive oil can provide soothing properties to the skin. Here's why: the fats in natural oils combine with the skin's essential oils to result in a smooth, soft texture. They also have antibacterial properties to protect the skin. Other oils include Shea butter, jojoba, and rosehip seed oil.
Let's face it, there's nothing more precious than tweaking your winter skin care routine to keep your face, feet, hands and other parts of your body fully moisturized and vibrant during long winter months. In addition to adding a few new winter skin care products and regimens to your repertoire, feel free to turn the temperature dial down a notch to avoid sucking the moisture from your winter skin.
Layer your clothing
You may notice some ashiness on your elbows, knees and ankles, due to dryness during the winter months. Let's not forget about the back and stomach! If you enjoy wearing wool but don't enjoy the itchy, dry skin feeling you'll get as a result, be sure to layer a thin cami or long sleeve t-shirt under your sweater. This will help shield your skin from the sweater itself.
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