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Woman Jogging in Winter Weather

Just when you have your skin-care routine in order and everything’s working beautifully, winter arrives – and everything changes. Even the most perfectly balanced and wonderfully dewy complexion can show the effects of time spent outdoors in the wind and cold…and time spent indoors in dry, overheated air. We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can offer these tips for boosting your skin regime, so your skin stays moist and supple during the winter months.

1. Use a humidifier or vaporizer

Keeping the moisture content high indoors is one way to help prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your indoor space, or at the very least run one in your bedroom at night. In the morning you'll notice that your face looks more supple and your hands and lips won’t feel dry and dehydrated either.

2. Spend less time in hot baths and showers

Ah the luxury of a long, hot soak after a long hard day! Too bad it can wreak havoc on winter skin. Shorten the time you spend in hot water (and that includes hot tubs) or compromise by keeping the water lukewarm and adding some essential oil to your bath water for extra hydration. These changes can help make a difference in preventing natural oils from being stripped from your skin.

3. Moisturize with oils

Coconut and jojoba oil are wonderful for the skin. You can apply oil to your skin after your regular moisturizer for a deep conditioning treatment, on its own after a bath, or when you’re ready to go to sleep for the night.

4. Exfoliate – but with care

Exfoliating can help remove dead cells from the surface of the skin, leaving your skin feeling refreshed, clean and more able to allow moisturizers you apply to penetrate. It’s fine to exfoliate once or twice a week, just keep in mind the area you are exfoliating. Use a gentler product on your face and lips than you would on your body.

5. Slather on sunscreen

Winter sun -- combined with snow glare -- can still damage your skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they're exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.

6. Baby your hands (and feet)

Have you ever noticed that the skin on your hands is thinner than the skin on other parts of your body? It also has fewer oils glands, which means it’s harder to keep your hands moisturized. Wear gloves when you go outside to protect them from the cold, dry air. And once a week, wear gloves to bed! Slather your hands with a rich, thick, plant-based cream and cover them with cotton gloves or socks. In the morning your hands will feel wonderfully soft! Do the same for rough, dry feet and you’ll be amazed at the results.

7. Don’t lick your lips

You may feel like you’re giving them some much needed moisture when they feel dry, but here’s what really happens: 1) Saliva evaporates from lips very quickly leaving them feeling drier and worse off than they already were. 2) Saliva is packed with enzymes that specialize in breaking down foods. Your lips are susceptible to this digestive action, so too much saliva can cause them to crack. On cold or windy days, protect your lips with a scarf. Help keep lips moisturized by humidifying indoor air (see tip #1) and by applying a rich, plant-based protectant like shea butter or coconut oil.

Winter’s more than half over, so take heart. As soon as spring arrives you can return to your favorite skin care routines and treat yourself to a long, luxurious bath. What are your favorite winter skin care tips?

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