The cracking, the chapping, the flaking - Ohh, the misery of winter skin!!
Don't worry, you really can make a difference in protecting your body's largest organ.
Follow these helpful guidelines during winter months, no matter what your age:
Don't take long, hot showers; hot water robs your skin of its natural moisture content. Limit your showers to about 5-10 minutes.
Invest in a humidifier; This really helps to place moisture back into the air. It's not only beneficial for your skin, but for your eyes and nose, too.
Wear lip balm and don't lick your lips; Your lips tend to dry out faster during winter than any other time of the year, so make sure to apply a lip balm as needed. Your lips have no natural defense against the elements! When you lickyour lips, as the saliva on your lips evaporates, so does your lips' natural moisture.
Wear a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher; Just because you don't feel the sun shining on you, doesn't mean that your skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun! A good rule of thumb is: if you see can see a shadow, wear sunscreen. Don't forget: the sun's rays are intensified when reflected off snow. Make sure your sunscreen contains UVA/UVB-protecting ingredients.
Use a cream cleanser; That squeaky-clean feeling we love can be way too drying.
Invest in a good hand cream; It seals moisture in. Washing your hands often can dry them out.
Avoid products with AHA's; Or, if you plan to use them anyway, don't overuse them. AHA's (Alpha Hydrozy Acids) can be a great way to de-flake the top layer of your skin, but they usually tend to dry skin out. So apply moisturizer right away.
In general, and especially during winter months, avoid products containing Alcohol; Not only is Alcohol an irritant, but it is drying, too.