Ditch That Winter Itch

By Lisa Sookraj + Georgia Lee

It’s not just the cold weather that makes our skin chap and chafe in the wintertime. The high-low combo of January’s minus-40 degree temperatures and Montreal’s overheated buildings together dehydrate our tender epidermis. Here are some tips to protect your skin from winter’s extreme temperature shifts. Stay dewy.

  1. Humidify

    Dr. Hallman, a physician at Concordia University says, “As soon as the heat goes on in buildings, the skin dries out.” Use a humidity gauge and a humidifier to keep the humidity level between 30-40 per cent in your home.
  2. Stay Out of Hot Water

    Nothing beats a hot soak after a day in the cold. But hot showers or baths, cautions Dr. Hallman, break down the lipid barriers in the skin, leading to a loss of moisture. Adding oatmeal or baking soda to bathwater can also help relieve dry skin.
  3. Moisturize

    The skin on your hands is thinner than most areas of the body and has fewer oil glands, which makes it harder to keep hands hydrated, and may lead to itchiness and cracking. Don’t be a toughie: wear gloves when you go outside. “Carry a small container of moisturizer at all times and apply generously to the hands throughout the day, particularly after hand-washing,” suggests Dr. Hallman.
  4. Indulge

    To improve skin texture and tone, try a hydrating facial or a calming shea butter body wrap. Ingredients like mud, honey, olive oil and chocolate also boost hydration.

Winter 2012, Vol 4 N°1

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