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Skin Do's and Don'ts

Winter and Autumn takes its toll on your complexian. Here are some tips and solutions that we recommend, particularly if it is cold, low humidity and sunny, where you live. Winter is hard on skin. Dry air and harsh wind can sap moisture from the skin, causing cracking, chapping, and irritation. And even though it's not blazing hot, your skin is still vulnerable to damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Luckily, you can take action to minimize winter skin problems. Here are some tips to help you keep your skin as youthful-looking and healthy as possible throughout the winter months:
  • Continue to protect your skin from sun damage. Since you're usually bundled up when outside in the wintertime, you don't need to slather sunscreen all over yourself, but try to wear a makeup or moisturizer with SPF 15 on your face throughout the winter. Do wear a high-SPF sunscreen if you'll be skiing; some of the most severe sunburns may occur on the slopes, since the snow reflects the sunlight. If you'll be on a cruise, be sure to wear a good sunscreen just as you would during the summertime. Don't forget your lips; wear lip balm or lipstick with sunscreen.

  • Examine your skin-care regimen. If you are using a product with tretinoin, such as Retin-A or Renova, be especially vigilant about wearing sunscreen; you are more liable to sustain a sunburn. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to cut back on using sloughing products such as alpha-hydroxy acids, as they may exacerbate dry, irritated skin.

  • Don't take long, hot showers. They may sound appealing, but they strip skin of its natural moisturizing lipids. Instead, take a short, warm shower; pat your skin almost dry, then put on a good moisturizer while skin is still damp. You will need a super-emollient lotion for hands, heels, or anywhere else you experience especially dry, cracked skin.

  • Humidify indoor air. If you don't have a humidifying system within your heating ducts, consider buying a humidifier. These will help keep skin and nasal passages from drying out. (If you do experience dryness or minor bleeding in your nose, you can use Vaseline to soothe and moisturize the area.)

  • If you develop severely dry skin, eczema, or "winter itch," see your dermatologist. He or she can prescribe a mild steroid cream or other treatment to restore your skin to good health.

Source: Dukehealth.org

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