by Alexandra Samuel
Stewart Shining Wow is it cold out. And I know we've been saying that all week, but these negative wind chills are seriously not cool. What I really have been wanting to do, naturally, is take a steamy, super-hot bath, but I know better from years in the beauty industry. A hot bath, ladies, really dries out your skin. (Same goes for a long, hot shower. Bogus, right?) So while many derms have warned me against its effects, I've decided to go rogue and take the plunge. Literally.
And there's NO way I'm the only one feeling that way. So if you're going to cheat and deal with parching you skin just this once, there are things you should do to minimize the moisture loss and ditch the post-bath dry-skin itch, according to the Shirley Madhere, M.D., a plastic surgeon in NYC who helps her clients' skin glow like crazy on the regular.
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Put a Humidifier in the Bathroom. I know it sounds weird because the bathroom gets all steamy, but do it. Having one plugged in (but away from the tub, of course) will help keep the bathroom air moist, so when you dry off later your skin won't parch. You can then move it to the bedroom to sleep with one of these babies humming. Your skin will thank you for it. Dr. Madhere recomends Broksonic Middle Humidifiers, which are insanely chic looking. I mean, it's the first humidifier I've ever seen that I would set out on my coffee table. Plus, they run for an impressive 19 hours at a time.
Add Essential Oil. While you're in the tub, Madhere recommends adding between 20 and 30 drops of an oil like Dr. Hauschka Moor Lavender Calming Bath Essence. Not only does it have essential oils like lavender to calm skin and mind, it has jojoba and almond oil to hydrate.
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End With a Cool Rinse. The final in-tub tip? (You might not like it, so I apologize in advance.) When you're done soaking, run the shower on a colder temp for a few minutes to cool down skin and stimulate lymphatic circulation. It sucks big time, yeah, but you'll avoid that red-puffy-swollen thing that normally happens after soaking in the hot water. Personally, I almost find the whole thing refreshing.
Apply Rich Moisturizers. As soon as you hop out of the bath, moisturize damp (not dry!) skin with a rich cream or lotion infused with shea or cocoa butter, such as Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Lotion, which has both ingredients. These hydrating butters lock moisturize into the skin and replace any that's been lost in the tub. And since you'll be cold again, I like to throw a little bit of cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up for ten-second intervals (for a max of 30 seconds) before slathering all over my body.