Carrie UnderwoodWe try to keep up our beauty regimens all year long, but let's face it: in winter things can go downhill fast. Suddenly our regular routines don't cut it, and some of the remedies we're used to can actually have the opposite effect. It's tempting to want to hide under a faux fur until spring, but staying warm isn't going to solve the problem. When it comes to itchy, winter skin, dryness is the main culprit. Winter air is dry, and the drastic temperature changes- from freezing outside to overheating (and also drying) inside- compound the problem. We asked Dr. Shilesh Iyer, a New York dermatologist, for his tips on staying hydrated and healthy until the thaw. Plus, a photo of dewey-skinned Carrie Underwood for your hydration inspiration. . .
1. Switch to an oil-based moisturizer. Richer, thicker creams have a higher oil content and that helps fight dryness better. Look for creams with humectants- agents that help moisture penetrate the skin like hyaluronic acid, which is actually soothing, even though it doesn't sound that way.
2. Take lukewarm showers. Hot showers disrupt the skin's lipid barrier, which allows moisture to escape and results in drier skin.
3. Moisturize while your skin's damp. After you shower, pat your skin until it's almost, but not completely, dry. Then, apply lotion. The cream will actually seal the remaining moisture into your skin.
4. Cut back on anti-aging and anti-acne creams. Creams with alpha hydroxy and salicylic acids can exacerbate the problem. If you're using them every other day, switch to three times a week.
5. Use 30 SPF everyday. Snow reflects the sun even more. A daily SPF cream is essential even when it's cold and overcast.
6. Treat you feet. Slather your feet with moisturizer, then immediately put on a pair of socks. The socks will help the cream penetrate the skin.
7. Gloves are a must. It's not OK to rely on your morning cup of coffee to keep your hands toasty. A specific, heavier moisturizer that's formulated for the hands also makes a difference.
photo credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images
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