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[December 2018] Wintertime Beauty and Health: Hydration
Date 12-26-2018 13:18 Hit618
Wintertime Beauty and Health: Hydration

Many of us feel our skin get drier, chapped, and even itchy in winter. Our skin is so dry that it begins to feel stretchy in the few seconds between the time we have washed our faces and opened our moisturizer bottles. The icy wind and the dry, heated indoor environments critically raise our skin and bodies’ need for hydration. Here are ten must do’s for your wintertime health and beauty.

1. Exfoliate regularly
Dead, scaly skin cells fall off our faces, bodies, and scalps in larger quantities in winter than any other season. These dead skin cells help retain moisture but also prevent enough moisture from penetrating the skin. It is therefore vital to maintain a sufficient buildup of dead skin cells during winter. If not exfoliated regularly and gently, the buildup of dead skin cells can make the skin look blotchy and even lead to irritations.

2. Avoid hot baths.
Using hot water to wash the face and body can dry the skin even further. The hot water and steam instantly break the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Avoid scrubbing and taking hot baths in winter. Stick with lukewarm water and use mild, weakly acidic cleansing products instead.

3. Moisturize thoroughly.
Choose moisturizers containing ingredients similar to the compounds in the natural barrier of fat in the skin, such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. These ingredients strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. Apply a moisturizer within 3 min of washing yourself because 70% of the skin’s moisture evaporates within that time.

4. Replenish your skin with not only moisturizers but also oil.
Hydration can make us lose sight of oil control’s importance for the skin. Oil is crucial for moisture retention as well as skin glow and radiance. Apply more replenishing cream each time you thoroughly massage your skin.

5. Use face masks instead of mists.
Facial mist sprays may appear to be an easy solution for dry skin, but mists do little for its rehydration. Moisturizing face masks that deliver moisturizing ingredients to dead skin cells are much more effective. Instead of using high-end products infrequently, use affordable ones every day for maximum effect. Apply a moisturizing lotion or gel before using a facial mask to double the hydration effect.

6. Do not forget to moisturize your lips.
If you are prone to getting chapped and flaky lips, never tear the flaking skin off your lips with your fingers. Apply petroleum jelly or a similar moisturizing lip product, cover your lips with a piece of plastic wrap, and leave them be for 5–10 min. With a cotton swab or pad dipped in a toner, gently rub your lips to remove the flakes without injury.

7. Keep the indoor humidity level at 45%–55% and the temperature level between 18–21 °C.
An extremely low humidity level can be problematic, but a level that is too high can foster bacteria and germs. Keep your indoor humidity level between 45%–55%. Keep your humidifier in the middle of the room and at least 0.5 m above the floor. Make sure that the humidifier is at least an arm’s length away from your face or skin as its vapors stimulate your bronchial tubes. Excess heat is another cause of skin dehydration. Keep your indoor temperature between 18–21 °C.

8. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Drink seven to eight glasses of water each day.
Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and chocolate, is a diuretic that saps your body of moisture, as do soft drinks and alcohol. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. Drink seven to eight glasses of water every day.

9. Avoid wearing furs.
Furs and similar materials irritate and sensitize the skin. If you are prone to dehydration and itchiness, avoid wearing these materials; breathable materials like cotton are more suitable for you. Wear multiple layers of comfortable cotton clothing instead of close-fitting ones.

10. Sleep well.
Sufficient sleep is the key to the skin’s natural moisture barrier maintenance. Sleep for 6–7 hr every night and you will begin to notice the difference in your skin.