How to stay beautiful and chap-free this winter

Nov 19, 2010 at 11:44 a.m. ET

Winter weather can be harsh on the skin, but there are ways to stave off the cold season's ravages. SheKnows shares a few simple tips to help ensure your skin stays supple and your body lean all season long. Read on and find out how to stay beautiful and chap-free this winter.

Woman with beautiful winter skin

The importance of moisturizing

The cold, dry air that winter brings dilutes our body of almost all its moisture. The fact we have furnaces, which dry out our home's air, only makes things worse.

Here's a few quick tips to help you keep your skin soft and chap-free this winter;

  • It's important to moisturize your skin, [every part of it], at least once a day.
  • Buy a thicker cream for your face.
  • Make applying lip balm a ritual.
  • Use vitamin E/aloe vera cream on your body as soon as you get out of the shower. This is when your skin most readily absorbs the lipids in creams.
  • Try to limit the time you spend in a shower -- hot water saps your skin of moisture.
  • Use a cream with SPF -- skin can burn in winter sun just as easily as it can in the summer.

Don't forget to exercise

Even though the darker days and cooler weather don't necessarily entice you to exercise, it's important to get out and about so you can maintain your body weight and muscle definition. By pumping up your heart, you'll also increase the rate at which blood flows to your cheeks, which helps to maintain a natural and healthy glow.

Wear the right clothing

During the dog days of winter, certain types of fabrics -- though warm -- are more apt to irritate skin than soothe it. A good example is wool. While it can keep you warm, it's also likely it will scratch skin, making you more likely to itch the irritation away -- and when already dry skin is scratched, it may crack or bleed. Instead, try to wear fabrics that are a little softer, like cotton or bamboo. If you want to wear wool, wear a soft layer underneath.

Eat well

With the holiday season -- and cooler weather -- comes lots of celebratory parties and bashes. But derailing your diet at this time of year, can wreak havoc on your body. Imbibing in too much caffeine or alcohol can dehydrate skin [both are diuretics]. Fatty foods -- like some fried appetizers -- contain far fewer skin-nourishing nutrients than healthier options.

The solution is to enjoy everything in moderation. Drink lots of water to compensate for the drinks you indulge in. When out at parties, it's ok to reach for a few fried appetizers, but also dig into vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. This will ensure your skin stays supple and your body lean all season long.

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