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Oh the weather outside is frightful …. and your skin is taking the toll!  During the winter months, most of us have to deal with dry skin to some extent. Some of us only have a few days where our hands are a little dry, but others have to deal with extreme skin issues during this time of year. It can be frustrating and painful and leave you wishing for the warmer months just so you can get some relief.

You don’t have to deal with dry, chapped skin, though. There are some easy ways that you can prevent the scaly winter skin that is typical during this season. And if you already have dry skin, there are simple DIY solutions to help hydrate your skin and soothe any winter skin ailment you might have. The best thing about these tips is that they don’t require any super special ingredients and can be made with things that you already have around the house or can easily find at your local grocery store!

Choose Your Water Wisely

When you wake up and it’s below freezing and snowing outside, it can be tempting to take a long, hot shower.  Same when you come home at night after battling frigid temperatures.  All you want to do is soak in a nice warm bath.  While those things might feel good they aren’t doing your skin any favors.  Long hot showers or baths will actually dry out your skin over time and if you already have dry or scaly skin, it will only make the problem worse.  Hot water actually strips your skin of its natural oils faster than warm or cold water and when it’s cold out, you need those oils more than ever.  Try to limit your showers to 10 or 15 minutes and if you can stand it, go for warm water rather than scalding hot water.  Also, don’t take more than one shower or bath each day if you can manage it.

On the other side of things, you shouldn’t limit the amount of water you are drinking during this season.  Many people stop drinking adequate amounts of water during the winter.  You might not be sweating as much so you might not feel like you’re losing as much water as you do in the summer.  Just because you aren’t sweating doesn’t mean that your body isn’t losing water.  Heaters, hot water, and adult beverages at the office happy hour can all sap the water from your system.  Make sure that you are staying properly hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you all day and refilling it frequently.  If you have a tough time remembering to drink water, set reminders on your phone.

Use Extra Oil And Healthy Fats

I’m not talking about when you’re cooking, although a good glug of olive oil doesn’t hurt, but use oil on your dry skin.  That jar of coconut oil you use for cooking and baking can actually help keep your skin hydrated, supple, and smooth.  You don’t even have to mix the coconut oil with anything else if you want to keep it simple.  Take a little solid coconut oil (if your oil is a liquid, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to help it solidify) and rub it right into your dry skin.  This works especially well with dry elbows, knees, and even chapped lips.

Also, make sure that you are still eating a good amount of healthy fats.  Things like almonds, walnuts, avocados, olives, and flaxseeds are all good sources of mono and polyunsaturated fats.  These fats will help keep your hair shiny, your nails strong, and yep, your skin hydrated.  It’s always important to eat a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats, but winter is tough.

Sleep And Moisturize

Moisturizing should already be a part of your beauty routine, but you can up the ante during the winter.  But don’t worry, it won’t take up any extra time because you can sleep and moisturize at the same time!  All you need are some old socks, a few pantry staples, and a bed.

If you have super dry hands, before bed cover your hands in coconut oil or shea or cocoa butter.  You want to put on a thicker layer than you normally would.  Once your hands are thoroughly coated, slip a pair of old socks over your hands and leave them on all night long.  When you wake up, your hands will be soft and hydrated.

You can also do an overnight facial mask to help hydrate your face while you sleep.  Your face often has to take the brunt of cold winds and snow, so make sure you’re taking extra care.  Mix one capsule of vitamin E oil (break open some capsules if you have those) with about ¼ cup of mashed avocado.  Cover your face and lay a towel down over your pillow and let the mask do its work while you sleep. Wipe your face clean when you wake up and enjoy your healthy glow!

Image Source: Amanda B/Flickr

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