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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Skin care experts agree that moisture is key when it comes to keeping your skin healthy and supple during the dry winter months.
Cold winter air and home heating can cause the skin to dry out. Keeping the skin moisturized and protected during the winter months is critical.
Most people are guilty of "over cleansing" with hot water and harsh soaps that can rob the skin of its natural moisture. This effect is heightened during dry winter months, when there is less humidity in the air.
The following tips are suggested to keep your skin looking healthy and refreshed in the winter and throughout the year:
Your arms, back and legs don't need to be soaped-up during every bath or shower; plain water rinses these areas well, but it makes sense to soap the underarms and private areas every day.
Moisturizers have emollient qualities, so applying them daily helps the skin stay hydrated and feel softer. By creating smoother skin, they can help reduce the appearance of aging. The best time to moisturize your skin is after bathing, when the skin is still warm and moist.
Scientifically, there's no data to support natural versus synthetic moisturizer products. Many moisturizers can be good for the skin - the goal is to use them. It's really a matter of preference whether you like lotions that are less greasy, or heavier moisturizers like thick creams, oils, or Vaseline for your moisturization needs.
If one is good about using moisturizers on a regular basis (at least daily in the winter time) and the skin remains dry or itches, a visit to your dermatologist would be recommended.
It is also suggested that you continuing to use sunscreen daily during the winter months, since ultraviolet rays are present whether it's warm or cold. Everyone, especially fair-skinned individuals, should apply a daily sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 or more every day.
This article originally appeared in UC Health Line (11/30/06), a service of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center Public Relations Communications Department and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission, 2006.
Last Reviewed: Dec 05, 2006
Pranav Sheth, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati