Cold, snow and dry heat all contribute to rob your skin of its natural moisture. While a a humidifier is helpful when you seek relief from the effects of dry heat, it is one of those tools that can’t do its work without your help.
Humidifiers come in three types: cool-mist, warm-mist, and combinations. Cool-mist humidifiers may be the safest because they do not need to boil water in order to work.
But there are other ways to eliminate dry skin.
If you haven’t been using moisturizers or one of the heavier “body butters,” it makes sense to do so now that the cold weather is here. Using a moisturizer is far more pleasurable than emptying a humidifier and has many of the same beneficial effects.
Make sure you use a product with a minimum of chemical additives and look for natural moisturizers like shea butter, avocado, macadamia nut and kukui oils in the product ingredient list.
A Hot Bath
You can jump-start the process of protecting your skin with a few simple tricks.
Winter’s leisurely hot baths can make dry skin worse, so add a soothing oil or soak to the tub. Very hot water feels wonderful when it comes splashing from the tap, but warm water is better for your skin.
Now is a good time to switch from everyday bars of soap, which are mainly detergent, to cold-processed soaps or body washes. Again, check the ingredients for natural moisturizers.
Apply moisturizer as soon as possible after toweling off, smoothing a liberal coat on your legs and arms where dryness sets in first.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
When enjoying winter sports or anytime you are outside in the cold weather, use a moisturizer with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Rosy cheeks are beautiful, but the winter sun can do surprising damage to your skin.
Finally, carry a lip balm with you at all times and use it frequently to prevent chapped lips. On those days when you wear no makeup, rub a protective coat of balm on your cheeks.
Gloria Garvey left the East Coast 35 years ago in search of warmer weather. She now lives in Hawaii, where she is the owner of Lanikai Bath and Body (www.lanikaibathandbody.com), the most comprehensive line of skin care products made in Hawaii.