Winter brings on a malady of skin woes. Dryness, chaffing, chapping, splitting, and soreness all come from the over-dried skin. Follow these moisturizing tips to keep your skin soft and supple and learn how to soothe dry winter skin.
Prepare your arsenal of moisturizers
Shop in stores and online for sales on body creams and butter. Sign up for e-mails from brands like Bath & Body Works. They run specials every few days on these products. Bath oils are harder to find, but Whole Foods, Burt’s Bees, and the Apothecary carry them. Boots also makes a great bath oil, which can be found at Target, or ordered online. You can also substitute massage oils.
Buy a good moisturizing bath bar like Dove to replace your deodorant soap. When you take showers, use the moisturizing bath bar, instead of soap, or use a good quality body wash. Be careful, though, as somebody washes may dry your skin even more. Sugar scrubs often are oil-rich and moisturize your skin. Do not take scalding hot showers; hot water also dries your skin. Leave your skin a little damp when you dry off -this will lessen the dryness.
Butter up to beat dry skin
After drying, apply body lotion, body cream, or body butter (use body cream in the fall and spring, body butter in the winter, and body lotion in the summer) to all parts of your body, paying particular attention to knees, elbows, hands, and feet, since these areas seem to get the driest. Body butter and creams are thicker and more moisturizing than lotions and will make your skin feel better immediately. They also continue to moisturize long after they are applied.
It’s all about “Me”: tub time to moisturize dry skin
When you have a little “me time,” get in a tub filled with warm (not too hot) water that has a generous amount of bath oil in it. Do a crossword puzzle or read a book while soaking, or just close your eyes and relax. This is also an ideal time to use a once-a-week intensive conditioning treatment in your hair -apply it, wrap your hair in a towel, and let it condition your hair while the bath oil conditions your body. You may also want to apply a moisturizing facial mask to complete your spa treatment.
After the bath: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
After the bath, you should be moisturized enough to skip your body butter or lotion, but if you also moisturize your hair, and shower afterward, you may need to apply a thin layer of body butter or lotion. Before going to bed, use a good quality moisturizer on your face, around your eyes, and on your neck. Keep a hand moisturizer and a foot moisturizer beside your bed and apply generously before you go to sleep. You may want to wear socks to keep your foot treatment from rubbing off on your sheets.
Pamper your hands and feet to combat dry skin
If you have excessively dry hands or feet, slather them with Vitamin A & E ointment, which can be found at most drugstores (the store brand is fine) since this is thick and greasy, it’s a good idea to wear thin cotton gloves and socks over your application.
About face: moisturizing facial skin
Don’t forget to apply moisturizer before applying your makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, you still need a good facial moisturizer. Wear lipstick or lip balm at all times. Keep lip balms everywhere, in jacket pockets, purses, lunch totes, and in the car.
Remember the rest of the family has dry skin, too!
Make sure you watch your kids’ skin and lips, as well. Many children have cracked, bleeding lips in the winter that could be easily avoided by teaching them to apply lip balm frequently Don’t forget your pets! A dab of vitamin A and E ointment will help keep doggie dewlaps healthy and keep dry, crusty noses at bay.