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Winter Skin Care

Posted by bmagnus On December - 21 - 2009

The Winter Solstice is upon us. The days will soon begin getting longer, but cold weather and drying indoor heating systems will remain with us for some time to come. So what should you do to keep your largest organ — your skin — healthy through the winter?

The number one thing to remember is that sunscreen isn’t just for summer. Keep using that moisturizing sunscreen all through the winter! It’s tempting to come up with excuses to skip it. But don’t say “oh, it’s cloudy,” when 80% of UV rays go right through the clouds. Don’t say “I’m only going to be out for 5 minutes, just going out to my car,” when a dozen 5 minute excursions is a whole hour in the sun. You wouldn’t go sit in the sun for an hour without sunscreen, would you? Don’t say “I’m staying indoors all day,” because some UV rays will even go through most windows.  Those of you who live in places that get snow and ice need to be particularly careful to put on sunscreen, since all that cold white stuff reflects the sun right back into your face.

Don’t forget to pay special attention to your hands. You know to keep your hands warm and dry to avoid frostbite, and you know to wash hands frequently to avoid spreading the germs of winter. Remember to put some moisturizer on those hands when they are clean and dry! If it’s warm enough to go without gloves, make it is a moisturizer with sunscreen. Our hands are active much of the day, and it can be hard to keep them moisturized, so be sure to keep a travel container of moisturizer in places you are likely to need it, such as your car, desk, and workout bag.

Body parts that are usually covered up this time of year need to be moisturized too, preferably within a few minutes of getting out of the shower. The idea is to keep your skin soft and avoid problems like flakiness, cracking, and the like. You may need a heavier moisturizer in the winter than the rest of the year. WebMD recommends using a non-clogging (noncomedogenic) oil based moisturizer.

Our last tip for the day is to use a lip balm. This should ideally have a sunscreen in it too, because lips can sunburn too. Dry lips are never fun to have.

His Take: For body use, I’m a big fan of Aveeno moisturizers and their store brand equivalents.

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