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Winter is tough on the skin, but there’s still hope!
While the lack of moisture in the air paired with indoor heating can leave skin completely dehydrated and even itchy, dermatologist Dr. Debra Wattenberg shared five rules that can ease the effects. There are even ways to target specific issues!
Five skin care rules to follow this winter:
- Avoid super hot showers — and keep them to only once per day!
- Moisturize right after the shower when your skin is still damp.
- Treat dry patches with hydrocortisone ointment.
- Drink up — with more water and less alcohol, that is.
- Put sunscreen on your face and lips daily. It may look overcast, but UV rays are still sneaking through those clouds.
Remedies for red, blotchy skin
The cold winter winds can render even the best skin red, flaky and blotchy. The problem is simple: Your oil glands simply can’t keep up with the dehydrating impacts of the temperatures. While you should definitely keep moisturizing, now is the time to work in face masks, especially those containing aloe and face oils.
- 1. Kiehl's Calendula and Aloe Hydration Mask, $45, Nordstrom
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Also available at Sephora.
Not only is it hydrating, this mask is known for having a cooling effect on the skin. One reviewer even called it "luxury in a jar."
- 2. Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, $37 (normally $42), Amazon
Also available for $49 at Nordstrom.
For an added boost of hydration, incorporate oils into your skin care routine. This treatment is made up of a blend of essential oils — including lotus, rosemary, geranium and hazelnut — which are said to help tighten pores and soothe skin.
To try making a face mask at home, combine half of an avocado, two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of almond oil.
Remedies for chapped lips
Lipstick, toothpaste and mouthwash can all dehydrate lips — but there are remedies that can help. These hydrating lip balms will keep your lips looking supple all winter long.
- 1. Carmex Comfort Care Colloidal Oatmeal Lip Balm, $8 (Pack of 3), Amazon
Also available for $6 (for one) at Walmart.
This lip balm uses oatmeal to deeply moisturize.
- 2. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment, $5 (Pack of 2), Amazon
Also available at Walmart.
This popular ointment easily heals chapped lips, dry hands, cracked heels, irritated skin, diaper rash and more.
For a home remedy, dip a green tea bag in water, allow to cool and then apply directly to the lips. The green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties. For extra moisture, apply a dab of olive oil.
Remedies for cracked hands
Never has hand cream been more important! Keep it by the sink so that you can apply right after washing your hands. You can also wear gloves indoors to lock in moisture. Whatever you do, make sure to avoid hand sanitizer when possible. In addition to being less effective than soap and water, it can actually irritate the skin.
- 1. Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Oil Hand Cream, $6, Amazon
Also available for $2 at Walmart.
The main moisturizing ingredient of this hand cream is coconut oil.
- 2. Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, $15 (normally $19), Amazon
Also available at Sephora.
With more than 10,000 "loves" on Sephora's website, this hand cream is called a "purse must-have" by reviewers.
- 3. Pamper Me Soothing Gel Gloves, $15, Bed, Bath & Beyond
According to the brand, these gloves can revitalize hands in only 20 minutes.
For an at-home cure, apply coconut oil directly to your hands and wrap them in plastic wrap while watching your favorite TV show or movie.
Remedies for an itchy scalp
While using dyes and hot tools is always tough on hair, cold temperatures exacerbate these problems and create issues such as dandruff. To keep hair shiny and healthy, keep both the scalp and hair follicles clean and moisturized.
- 1. Selsun Blue Medicated Maximum-Strength Dandruff Shampoo, $12, Amazon
Also available for $8 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
This shampoo uses selenium sulfide to get rid of those scale-like patches on your scalp.
- 2. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $16, Amazon
Also available for $10 at Walmart.
By containing coal tar, Neutrogena claims that this shampoo continues to work to stop itchiness even hours after you've washed.
- 3. Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care with Almond Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $5, Walmart
Also available for $6 at Target.
According to the brand, this shampoo cleans, protects and moisturizes to fully treat dandruff and itchy scalp.
- 4. Moroccanoil Dry Scalp Treatment, $31 (normally $38), Amazon
Also available for $38 at Sephora.
After using the medicated treatments, Wattenberg recommends moisturizing the hair and scalp to prevent further itchiness.
Try a do-it-yourself remedy at home by mixing apple cider vinegar and water together and applying directly to the scalp. Baking soda and water have the same effect, especially when followed by half of a cup of plain yogurt and one egg yolk. Your hair will be shiny and smooth!
This story was originally published on Jan. 1, 2018.