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Prepare Your Car, Home, and Skin for Winter

As the weather gets colder and winter is approaching, we prepare our cars for the cold temperatures by adding antifreeze.  We winterize our outdoor irrigation systems, close external home vents, bring in outdoor furniture, bbq, and flower pots.  Our vehicles and homes are ready – what else is left?  How about the protective layer of our body-our skin.  Our skin is the largest organ on our body.  The cold, dry weather provides a challenge for our skin to stay moist and supple.  In addition, the friction from heavier clothing and indoor heating can turn your skin dry, itchy, and prone to cracking.  Here’s how to keep from drying out this winter.

1.  Start moisturizing early and often.  Apply a moisturizer that preferably contains glycerin, fatty acids, ceramide, or cholesterol after bathing, while your skin is damp.  Reapply throughout the day if necessary.  Use a facial moisturizer, with sunscreen of at least 30, on sunny days spent out in the snow.

2.  Pamper problem areas:

Lips – In the winter, lips chap very easily because they lack sweat and oil glands.  It is imperative that you don’t lick your lips to provide moisture since the evaporation makes the chapping worse.  Petroleum jelly is very effective in providing comfort to chapped, dry, cracking lips.  Lip balm or lipstick is also helpful in providing moisture and protection to your lips.

Hands – The problem of dry, cracked hands is common in winter and can be quite uncomfortable.  Apply lotion after you wash your hands.  Another tip is to wear cotton-lined plastic or rubber gloves when working in water such as washing dishes or bathing children.  Cracked hands can heal with moisturizers that contain lactic acid or urea.  Be consistent in applying moisturizing lotion throughout the entire winter.

3.  Another habit of winterizing your skin is to add humidity to your home.  Place a bowl filled with water near a heating vent or radiator, or use a humidifier.  The unit should have a humidistat that shuts off the humidifier when the preset humidity level is reached.

4.  Keep showers short and warm.  Hot water washes away your skin’s natural oils.  Try to limit showers or baths to 10 minutes and use warm rather than hot water.  Make sure to shut the door to keep in humidity from the warm water.

Protect your vehicles, home, and your skin to combat the freeze of winter inside and out.

All the best,

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