Winter is fast approaching and with it comes the harsh reality of facing irritated skin. The constant change in temperature (cold and dry outside versus hot and dry indoors) is sure can takes its toll on your precious skin. So really, what’s a girl to do? Thankfully, there is a lot of things you can do, and that’s according to Loretta Ciraldo, MD, a Miami dermatologist and author of Six Weeks to Sensational Skin. She shares her top winter-protection skin secrets below:

1. Skip taking a hot bath.

It’s a fact that in can be chillingly cold in certain parts of the country. And it is during those cold temperatures that people take long, hot baths which turns out to be hug dry skin culprits. Many people are unaware that hot showers rid your body of its natural oils which can leave your entire skin, dry, tight and even flaky. So instead of taking ultra long hot baths, experts recommend taking not-so-hot showers and then making sure to pat yourself (not rub) dry after leaving your body at a still damp state, making it retain water and moisture better.

2. Using summer products during winter ain’t going to cut it.

During winter, using a rich cream is far better than using just a regular skin lotion; in fact, it will make such a huge difference in your skin. Lotions tend to have thinner formulation and not as emollient as thick creams. So when the cold weather hits, make sure that you swap your light, warm weather lotion, for a richer, more penetrating skin cream.

3. Don’t sweat over your wrinkles.

A lot of people tend to see an exaggeration of wrinkles during winter time, and that’s because of skin dryness. So if you happen to gaze at the mirror and find out that your fine lines around the mouth and eyes are more visible, don’t add more stress to yourself and to your skin by freaking out. For all you know, the appearance of these fine lines could just be a temporary thing. Instead, nourish your skin with a hydrating night cream and try to get a good night’s sleep as much as possible.

4. Soak in moisture.

It’s important to get your entire body moisturized especially during winter months. Experts recommend soaking a bathtub full of tepid water until your fingertips are wrinkled—however long that takes. The skin is gifted with a great capacity for holding water and it’s really important to make sure that it’s properly hydrated.

5. Read your labels.

Because the skin tend to lose a lot of lipids (barriers that keep water in) during the winter, it is therefore essential to use beauty products that contain lipids in it. Dr. Ciraldo recommends that use of the ever popular, Ceramides, and also to look for products that contain stearic acid and glyco-lipids which can both help prevent moisture loss in the skin.

6. Get oily.

Winter is a good time to join the flaxseed oil and fish oil bandwagon. Apart from being rich in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, these oils can help keep your skin smooth and supple. Flaxseed and fish oil supplements can help in improving the skin’s overall appearance and can aid in diminishing the pain brought forth by stiff joints caused by the winter cold.

7. Avoid soaps.

A lot of commercial soaps tend to be very drying to the skin. So during the cold months, it’s better to wash with liquid non-soap cleansers. Additionally, Dr. Ciraldo recommends scouting for cleansers or moisturizers that contains botanical plant extracts
in the likes of chamomile and lavender which are natural skin moisture replenishers. These extracts are often soothing as well which makes them ideal for wind chapped of exposed skin.

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