Outsmart Winter Skin Woes!

Prevent cracked, chapped and rough skin this season.

Health Monitor Staff
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Chapped Lips, Winter Skin Care, Dry Hands, Preventitive Skin Care

Dry hands, chapped lips, rough elbows—follow these preventive strategies and they’ll be history!

Avoid chapped lips
The lips have near-zero oil glands, so when they meet the cold and wind, dryness and flakiness result. That’s why it’s important never to go outdoors without lip balm. For the most effective barrier, opt for an emollient or ointment rather than a waxy stick. Also: Always brush your teeth before washing your face. Here’s why: Toothpastes contain drying ingredients, so any residue can rob lips of moisture. And put on a generous layer of balm before applying toners, topical acne creams and other potentially drying face treatments so they can’t penetrate the lips.

Dodge dry hands
Moisturizing once a day won’t do the trick—you’ll need to slather on cream five or six times a day to avoid cracking, peeling and roughness. To make it easier, stash travel-sized creams in your purse and your desk, by the remote control and near your mouse pad. And don’t forget to massage cream into your nails and cuticles, too.

Tip: For best daytime hand creams, search product labels for non-greasy formulas that stay on through multiple washings.

Rule out rough elbows
The elbows’ thick top layer of skin really suffers from the lack of humidity in winter. And leaning on the joints all day long exacerbates the problem. The key to soft elbows? Exfoliating! Remove dead surface cells with a loofah and a gentle (non-alcohol) scrub twice a week, and follow with a thick layer of petroleum jelly. For an intensive treatment, apply at bedtime, cover elbows in plastic wrap and let the softening happen overnight.

December 2013