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Winter Skin â?? 6 Tips and tricks to help relieve dry, itchy, flaky skin

Posted Feb 02 2009 4:13pm

This has been an interesting winter. Here in Vancouver we’ve been covered in unusual amounts of snow and it has everyone hysterical over every aspect of their lives. It’s time to regain some control!

When winter starts to suck all the suppleness out of our bodies, there are a few steps that can definitely make you feel like the smooth, glowing goddess you are on the inside.

1. Save energy, water and your skin!
As wonderful as a long hot shower or bath is during those seemingly endless cold, dark mornings, shorter more tepid habits will save you skin. Hot water breaks down the lipid barrier that holds moisture in, aggravating the situation…which is counter productive to feeling good. If your skin is extremely dry and itchy, add 1/3 of a cup of oatmeal to the bath water to soothe the skin. Another great alternative is the Golden Moor Mud Baths, they replenish the skin and come in relaxing scents such as Chocolate (so yummy!) and Lavender.

2. Exfoliate
Once or twice a week, gently exfoliate your whole body. This will remove the build up of dry, flaking skin and help your moisturizer penetrate deeper. Those dead skin cells do not need or deserve your beautiful moisturizer, so get rid of them! Make sure to use an effective exfoliant! A wash cloth or shower pouf isn’t always enough. You need to use a loofah, scrub glove or exfoliating product such as Phytomer Toning Body Scrub (you have to log-in to view this product) or Golden Moor Body Scrub and Polish to really remove that build up. Keep in mind these recommendations are for the body, not the face.

3. Moisturize…and then moisturize some more.
This should really be done at least twice a day during the colder, drier months. In the morning right after you get out of the shower, apply a moisturizer rich in essential fatty acids. This will seal in moisture and make skin soft and supple. Apply once more before bed. A good moisturizer will actually start to change your skin. It should penetrate and re-store all that’s been lost in the skin. If after 2 weeks you haven’t noticed a difference in your skin, then you need to switch! Some great ones are SpaRitual’s Instinctual Moisturizing Lotion and MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Firming Body Lotion

4. Use Winter-Friendly products
Shower gels are more suited to warmer months. During the winter be indulgent, reach for shower creams, thicker body, hand and foot lotions. Be creative! Body oils are wonderful for this time of year, Guinot has an absolutely beautiful one called Guinot Huile Satinee; they moisturize like crazy and leave skin feeling amazing. Like anything else, make sure it’s high quality oil that will actually absorb and not make your skin feel slick.

5. Use Sunscreen
This is the Golden Rule for skincare. Summer, fall, winter and spring. Use it. All the time. UVA and UVB rays are magnified when bounced off of snow, add that to winds and cold air…poor face! The least you can do is protect it the same way you would during the summer. Try B. Kamins Bio-Maple Sunbar, it’s oil and fragrance free and perfect for the most sensitive skins.

6. Focus on hands and feet.
Use lotions formulated specifically for those areas. They’ll penetrate much better and have countless added benefits. Hand creams can help prevent aging, hyper-pigmentation (liver and sun spots) and will keep your hands from cracking. Guinot makes a lovely one. Foot creams are designed to actually make it through that tough skin. Gehwol, Allpressan and Footlogix have years of technology and research behind them proving they can make a difference. There is no reason your feet or hands should be cracking!

Consistency will be your biggest ally. Get in to the habit of applying moisturizer and not only will you protect your skin during the winter months, you’ll be creating a beautifully relaxing personal ritual that will keep your skin looking younger and healthier for life.

Do you have any tricks for combating winter skin? If so we’d love to hear them!

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