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Hydrate Winter Dry Skin
Dryness peaks in the cold months and can leave the complexion red and tight. Winter dry skin is more prone to inflammation and conditions like eczema. The epidermis functions as a protective barrier; its dead skin cells are the bricks and its lipids are the mortar, says Arielle Kauvar, Dermatology at New York University.
When the barrier is compromised by moisture loss, it becomes vulnerable to irritation. Dry air is the culprit to dry skin, where moisture evaporates from the skin's surface. Hot showers can strip natural oils as can over washing with harsh cleansers. Skin products, alcohol/caffeine, has dehydrating effects as well, along with some medications; for example, blood pressure and high cholesterol meds.
To Rehydrate: cut back on drying ingredients, switch to a creamy cleanser, apply retinoids every other day vs. daily or twice per week, says Meghan O'Brien, a dermatologist in New York City. Top it with a rich moisturizer to further prevent flaking.
Look for a cream that contains humectants and emollients such as glycerin, olive oil, and hyaluronic acid, also, anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe & oatmeal.
For Deeper Hydration: apply a weekly moisturizing mask once/twice a week, use a gentle scrub to slough off scaly patches. Don't forget the eye area, the skin there is thin and has few oil glands, so it gets extra dry and needs a richer, more hydrating cream.
Prevention: a humidifier, foods rich in essential fatty acids: walnuts, salmon, flaxseed, avocados, and a flaxseed supplement-these may improve skin barrier function, which helps your skin become more resilient to dryness, (Real Simple/March 2012).
Fitness and Health