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Don’t let winter weather take a toll on your skin. These 7 tips keep skin looking and feeling great.

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Winter is upon us, and in many parts of the country, that means you may be faced with day after day of cold, dry air. When temps are frigid and the air is dry, either due to weather or because interior heating reduces humidity, it can leave your skin feeling itchy and irritated. It can also make it look dry, red or flaky.

The good news is that you don’t have to let the seasons dictate the health and beauty of your skin. The tips below can keep your skin moist and supple so your complexion is glowing all winter long.

      1. Moisturize daily. It’s a good idea to moisturize your skin daily all year round, but it’s especially beneficial to do so through the winter months when skin tends to get drier. Stick with fragrance-free moisturizers that don’t have additives that may irritate skin. Don’t use the same moisturizer on your face and body, however. Some ingredients in moisturizers may block pores, leading to breakouts. Instead, look for facial moisturizers that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. For your body, opt for thicker moisturizers in jars or tubes instead of those that come out of pump bottles.
      2. Use warm, not hot water. It may feel great to take a hot, steamy shower on a cold day, but that hot water may exacerbate dry skin. Instead opt for warm water, which is less harsh on your skin—and try to keep showers to only 5 or 10 minutes.
      3. Humidify indoor air. When temps tumble, outdoor humidity is typically low. Many heating systems also zap moisture from indoor air. While you can’t do anything to change the weather, investing in a humidifier in your home can help restore moisture indoors.
      4. Use products made for sensitive skin. Fragrances and dyes in beauty products can worsen skin issues so look for products made for sensitive skin. These will typically be free of ingredients that can dry and irritate skin.
      5. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Even when it’s cold or cloudy, UV rays can still damage your skin. Snow reflects the sun’s rays, which can increase UV exposure even more. Apply sunscreen daily and especially when you’re out in the snow.
      6. Protect yourself from the wind. Cold windy days can wreak havoc on your skin and lips. Protect your skin with moisturizer and apply a petroleum-based lip balm. Cover your face, neck and ears with a scarf made out of soft materials when the wind is especially harsh.
      7. Don’t tan. It may be tempting to use a tanning bed to restore your summer glow, but artificial tanning increases your risk of skin cancer. If you feel the need to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a self-tanning cream or spray.

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Date Last Reviewed: September 16, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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