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How to Beat Winter Skin

The pumpkin spice lattes are out at Starbucks. If you are anything like me, you are excited about digging out those Hunter boots, layering scarves, and wool hats. However there is one dreaded thing that comes along with cooler weather...

Dry winter skin on your hands, face, and feet.

That’s right, the rosy glow associated with the bite of crisp winter air is nothing more than a glamorized depiction of the tight, itchy, flaking skin experienced by most during the cold winter months. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your skin happy and healthy even on the coldest days:

1) Change the Way You Moisturize

Just as the seasons change, so should your skin regimen. While here in Sienna we get plenty of humidity (often too much) in the warmer months, cold air holds less moisture. This means that you will need to find a heavier moisturizer that also helps restore your skin's natural barrier.

2) Change the Way You Cleanse and Pamper Your Face

When the skin on your face is dry, avoid using harsh cleaners. Instead replace them with gentle ones such as Cetaphil or CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Consider also decreasing the frequency with which you use these products, such as washing your face with only lukewarm water in the morning and using cleansers at nighttime.

3) Lather Up with Sunscreen

Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is just as important during winter as it is during the summer. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are capable of penetrating the blanket-like cloud cover of winter days. All of those rays translate into skin damage and extra-dry skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and at least SPF 30 on a daily basis.

5) Invest in a Humidifier or Two

The heat will be on indoors and this further adds to dry air and dry skin. To keep moisture evenly dispersed throughout your home or office, strategically place a few humidifiers around places where the air circulates best.

6) Give Yourself a Hand

Nothing is more unsightly and painful then dry, cracked hands and heels. A well known trick of dermatologists is to slather your hands and feet in lotion, cover them with a pair of cotton socks (these work just fine for gloves as well), and sleep in them overnight.

7) Just Say No to Hot Water

While the idea of stepping into a scalding hot shower or bath is nice after being out in the cold, you’re ultimately doing your skin a disservice, no matter how pleasant it may feel. Intensely hot water breaks down lipid barriers, and can lead to a loss of skin moisture. The result is dry, itchy, flaky skin. Keep the water lukewarm and the bathing short.

8) See a Specialist

Find a dermatologist in your area. Individuals in these specialties can evaluate your skin type and guide you on what skin care products and routines you should be using throughout the year.

Don’t let the biting winter air get the better of you or your skin. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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