The dry, cold winter winds can strip our skin from its protectiveness causing dryness, itching, and flaking. Winter brings the fear of brittle, cracking, bleeding skin. Since prevention is the best cure, now is the time to prepare our skin from the cold winter winds to come.

Here are a few ways to combat the damage that winter can bring…
Stay HydratedStay hydrated
We are comprised mostly of water. Staying hydrated is an easy way to prevent dry skin.

Use a humidifier
In the summer we run from the frizziness and stickiness that humidity can bring. In the winter, we need the humidity. Think of humidity in the winter as a nice moist cushion of skin protection.

Increase healthy dietary fats
Fats such as olive oil, almonds, and avocado are your friends (as long as there is no allergy). Fats also help to maintain moisture in our skin.

Eat Warm foods
Cold skin is dry skin. An easy way to keep warm is to eat warm!
Use a good moisturizer
Skin moisturizers do just what the name suggests…keep moisture in the skin. Be sure to apply the moisturizer to damp skin.

Mild soap
Soaps, especially bar soaps, can be very drying. So change your soap to a mild formula. Many soaps offer an added moisturizer. You might want to switch to body wash during the winter.

Take cool showers
Hot showers are more drying than cool showers. Again, cold skin is dry skin, so with that in mind, take a cool or warm shower; not cold.

Take cover
We all know the dangers of winter wind exposure. Keep as much skin covered as possible.

Protect your hands and feet
Again, we need to keep the skin covered as much as possible. This is not only the case outside. In the home, keep your feet covered. Use gloves to cover your hands when washing dishes or using any caustic, drying cleaners like disinfectants, when cleaning the house.

Use lip balm
Lip balm is an easy way to add a seal to keep moisture in the skin. Chapped lips are NOT cute!

Yes…sunscreen in the winter is very important. Especially if you live in snowy regions or enjoy skiing, it is important to protect your exposed skin with sunscreen. The sun can damage your skin simply by radiating rays from the snow.

We can do everything under the sun and will still have dry skin. Dry, patchy skin can feel like sandpaper. So to keep you nice and smooth, EXFOLIATE. Use a loofah, scrubby, or textured cloth to remove dead, flaky skin. Exfoliate with caution. Be sure to clean your items and allow them to fully dry between use to prevent bacterial growth on the items. And anytime you exfoliate, you must moisturize afterward since, as you exfoliate and remove dead skin, you also remove some of the healthy oils from your skin.

Protect with thicker creams
Creams such as cocoa butter and shea butter have been used for years to keep the skin moist. Creams, unlike thin lotions, have a lower percentage of water, are thicker and do a better job at keeping your skin moist.

If you like to take a relaxing soak in the bathtub, add oil to the water. There are bath beads that have added oils as well to help moisturize the skin.

Again, a cold body is a dry body. So increase your body temperature by exercising and increasing circulation.

Decrease alcohol and caffeine consumption
Caffeine and alcohol are both dehydrating. So, and easy fix is to decrease the amount that you consume.

Do you have any tips for skin protection in the winter?

Share your comments below.