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Skin Care Changes With The Weather

Originally Posted: January 31, 2007

Dr. Marcy L. Street, M.D.

As the leaves fall and the air gets a little nippy in parts of the country, it becomes time to make some changes to our skin care routine. We might pack up our lighter weight clothes, in favor of heavier sweaters, suits and coats. But it is also time to make changes that will protect your skin, no matter what the weather. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth seasonal skin transition.

If you are prone to dry skin, especially as the temperatures drop and the dry heat of the furnace starts to take its toll, consider getting a humidifier that will help infuse moisture into the air. Remember cooler air has less humidity.

As the weather cools, cut back on the super hot showers and baths. They, in combination with the harsh effects of indoor heating can make dry flaky skin. If you are going to take a bath, add a few drops of bath oil to the water to help lock in the moisture. And you may want to give up your shower gels in the cooler months, in favor or shower creams that have less drying alcohol, and more oils to help protect the skin.

Most people use lotion to prevent dry skin year-round. If you are already using a body lotion, think about switching to a heavier body cream as the temperature drops. Creams that feel too heavy and sticky, in the humid months can be just the ticket for dry winter skin. You might want to look for some products that include alpha and beta hydroxyl acids to help exfoliate the skin so the moisturizer can penetrate better. There's nothing worse than dry, itchy winter time skin.

Think about making subtle make-up changes each season. Lighter weight foundations and moisturizers might give way to cream foundations and blushes. But if you go to a heavier cosmetic product, you need to take the time to remove your make-up every night to help prevent acne.

Many women take extra care with their feet in the summer sandal season. But it's important to keep up the good work even after you put open toe shoes away for the winter. The skin on the feet gets extra dry and is prone to cracking and splitting in cold weather. Think about lathering your feet with a cream or even Vaseline at night and putting on a pair of white cotton socks for an overnight foot spa treatment.

And don't forget to pamper your hands and nails, as the seasons change. Cold weather can cause dry skin on hands and peeling cracking nails. Keep a small tube of hand lotion in your purse and reapply it several times during the day, especially after washing your hands. Gloves can protect your hands from the elements, too.

Year Round Skin Care
There are some things that should be a part of your skin care routine, no matter what the season. Never ever leave the house without your sunscreen, whether it is the dead of winter or a sweltering summer day. The damaging effects of the sun can wreak havoc on your skin no matter what the time of year.

Eating healthy and staying hydrated are important to your skin and your health all year-long. Make seasonal fruits and vegetables, and lean protein an essential part of your diet. Cut back on sugary sodas, and drink lots of water. In winter months, get some of your water in through healthy green teas, which have a lot of antioxidants that boost your health from the inside out.

Product Tip: As the weather changes, so should the moisturizers you use. The lighter moisturizers that you use in the spring and summer, when weather is warm, may not offer you enough protection on blustery days. Look for the creamier versions of the products you love and then switch back to lighter lotions and moisturizers in spring and summer.