SIX TIPS FOR DRY WINTER SKIN

I'm prone to eczema as it is and Utah's dry winter air just has me working a little harder to keep it at bay. Add to the fact that all three of my children have either dry skin, sensitive skin, or both, and you can bet I have tried every trick in the book to keep our skin healthy and happy in the most natural ways possible.

Here are my favorites:



LOWER THE THERMOSTAT

We don't have radiant heat in our home, so when our heater is running, it's blowing hot, dry air around an already dry climate. In the past, I've cranked the heat as high as I can stand, not realizing the correlation between that and the state of my skin. Over the past few years, I've kept it set between 62-64 degrees and have noticed a considerable difference. I don't wake up with chapped lips and my kids' cheeks aren't as rosy or chapped as they otherwise would be.

If you're used to having your heater blasting, it does take some getting used to. We keep our fireplace on during the day, which heats our house well, and wear socks and sweaters if we need to.

STAY OUT OF THE TUB

Okay, don't forgo bathing altogether, just don't do it as often. I've found that bathing my babies too much actually makes their skin drier. They bathe or shower regularly twice a week at most, and as needed in between.

Keep showers short and not too hot. It takes some getting used to, but it's worth it.

MOISTURIZE THE RIGHT WAY

Skip regular lotions and look for creams or butters. I apply liberally and allow it to be absorbed into the skin. Shea butter is a favorite. I buy a tub at the grocery store, add a little olive oil, and beat it to a whipped consistency. As far as store bought creams go, I really like First Aid Beauty's line. They are great for sensitive skin and get great scores on the Skin Deep cosmetic database, which is a big deal for me (I don't like to use anything that scores higher than a 2). We've also liked Vanicream in the past.

Consider using oils to moisturize as well. Olive oil is a favorite; jojoba, avocado, and argan are also great. I'm one of the few people I know whose skin is irritated by coconut oil, but by all means, that one's a given.

HYDRATE FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Water is the go-to drink in our home. I'm a big believer in a gallon a day. My kids don't drink that much, obviously, but they do stay well-hydrated. Sodas and sugary drinks do nothing for your health, and they aren't doing your skin any favors. If a gallon seems too difficult, start with a half-gallon minimum per day. You'll start seeing results in as little as a few days.

WATCH WHAT YOU EAT

If your skin is severely dry and irritated, you might want to take a look at your diet. Check with a professional, but often dairy, grains, and sugar are the usual suspects, causing inflammation that often manifests itself via the skin. At the very least, consider adding in more vegetables and omega-3s.

HUMIDIFIER

Humidifiers are often recommended for babies and young children, and they work just as well for adults. Keep one in your bedroom at night, and in any room you're in during the day. Or, consider a whole home humidifier system.

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