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1. Turn down the heat
One of the first things that we do when the temperature drops is to raise the heat indoors—makes sense, right? But this can aggravate already dry skin by taking the humidity out of the air, along with the moisture from our skin. “Use a humidifier in the bedroom,” Pon recommends. “It puts the moisture back into the air and prevents skin from drying out.
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2. Avoid hot water
Further to the point of elements wreaking havoc on our skin, be sure to use lukewarm water when washing your face or taking a shower during the winter months. “Hot water draws moisture right out of the skin,” says Pon. And avoid soaking for long periods of time in the tub.
3. Apply moisturizer head to toe
Immediately after stepping out of the shower, pat skin dry and apply moisturizer right away—this helps to replenish the moisture that was just lost. And if you’re prone to dry skin, follow up by applying a gentle body lotion in the evening as well.
4. Check the label
Look for ingredients that work to rehydrate the skin throughout the day: Shea butter and lactic acid help to draw water into the skin (and keep it there). “Moisturizers with a high concentration of mineral oil helps to prevent moisture loss,” says Pon. And be sure that your moisturizer contains a humectant—such as glycerin—, which pulls moisture from the environment into the skin.
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More expert skin care tips (and the best face moisturizer to try!) on the next page... 5. Be weary of winter fabrics
There’s nothing like cozying up in chunky knit scarves and warm wool sweaters on chilly nights, but certain fabrics can irritate dry skin. Layer up to keep itchy wools from rubbing up against the skin. “Wear a cotton T-shirt underneath to prevent any irritation,” says Pon.
6. Keep up with exfoliation
Gentle exfoliation is necessary throughout the winter months to keeping a fresh glow. “It removes the build-up of dry, flaky skin,” says Pon. Use a gentle circular motion to buff away dry skin—nothing too aggressive, she warns. Exfoliating will also prep skin to better absorb face products.
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7. Use a gentle cleanser
Avoid washing your face with harsh soaps and cleansers—or anything that contains a heavy fragrance. “They strip away the natural oils and dry out skin,” says Pon. Opt for a lightweight cleanser and again, steer clear of any vigorous rubbing that will create friction (and redness) on the skin. Use lukewarm water and apply a rich face cream immediately after cleansing. Try Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream.
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8. Be consistent with your skin care routine
The main things to be mindful of when taking care of dry skin is what products you use, how you apply them, and how often. You want to prep the skin to properly absorb moisturizing products, and ensure that you’re using the best face creams for your skin type. “You’ll also want to use a richer moisturizer this time of year,” says Pon.
Develop a separate morning and night skin care routine—and stick to them (and don’t forget to moisturize the delicate area of skin around the eyes). This goes for any season.
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