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McLean Clinic - Theresa Taylor

Goodlife Magazine – Nov/Dec 2010

Winterize Your Skin

How to keep your skin supple during the winter

By Nikki Yeh

Truly, dry skin can damper our winter celebrations. “Knowing that your skin is moisture deprived has a couple of symptoms: one is that the skin will be dry or flaky, the other is redness or irritation,” says Nowell Solish, a cosmetic dermatologist.

"Due to low temperatures, low humidity and strong harsh winds the skin can become depleted of its natural lipid layer, which is the fat layer. This layer usually keeps the skin from dehydrating and drying out. [From the cold weather,] this natural lipid layer dries out and leads to skin problems in the wintertime," further explains Miriam Denham, medical skin care specialist at McLean Clinic Plastic Surgery Facility.

What is the solution to combating dry skin during the cold weather months? Here are some easy tips for keeping your skin smooth and supple.

Bath Time

Stick to warm water in your shower or both. "Hot water strips the skin of moisture and oils…[leaving] the skin parched, dry and scaly," says Denham, adding "after you bathe and shower, it’s always good to moisturize quickly, even when the skin is slightly damp, because that helps seal the moisturizer."

Lip Service

Say goodbye to your lip-gloss. "Glosses will dehydrate the lips," explains Denham. She recommends using lipsticks because "a lot of [them] are more hydrating than gloss. Or just stick with a lip balm that provides moisture."

Lend a Hand

According to Denham, dry hands are common. "Keep a bottle of moisturizer by the sink and use it frequently after washing your hands. Keep a bottle of moisturizer in your shoulder bag…completely dry your hands after washing them."

Scrub, Scrub

"Only [exfoliate] on a weekly or semi-weekly basis and don’t use harsh chemicals," advises Denham. "You want those [dead skin] cells to be removed, but not too much because you’re not replenishing the moisture as quickly [compared to the summertime]."

Face It

If you have excessively dry skin, wash it once a day. "Usually in the evening to remove your makeup and the debris from the day," Denham explains. "In the morning, touch it up with a moisturizing toner, [but remember,] you want to avoid alcohol-based toners in the wintertime.

With the right regimen, you can continue to keep your skin supple in the wintertime. For more information about your winter skin care, consult a beauty specialist.

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