Winter Beauty Cheat Sheet: How to Protect Your Skin and Hair

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Winter is out to sabotage your skin and hair, and outdoor conditions aren’t the only culprits. Escaping from the damaging effects of harsh winter winds can’t just be done by heading inside, because space heaters and central heating rob skin and hair of needed moisture. The same thing happens when people take long, hot showers and baths that are especially looked forward to in the winter. The news isn’t all bad, though, because with changes in diet and habits, people can improve the health of their hair and skin.

Dermatologists say there are simple daily routine changes that we can make to keep our skin from drying out. In a press release for the American Academy of Dermatology, Stephen P. Stone, MD, FAAD, a professor of dermatology and director of clinical research at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine at Springfield, offered tips on how to keep dry skin from being a nuisance in winter months. “Keep your baths and showers short and make sure you use warm, not hot water,” he said. “Switching to a mild cleanser can also help reduce itching, and be sure to gently pat the skin dry after your bath or shower as rubbing the skin can be irritating.”

Stone also said to read a product’s label carefully. Alcohol-based toners, deodorant soaps, and products with fragrances added in can irritate dry skin, making the problem worse. For cracked hands that can’t be soothed by regular moisturizers, Stone said to dab a bit of petroleum jelly on right before bed. If you’re really keen on introducing moisture into the air, use a humidifier in your home.

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