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5 Ways to Prevent Dry Skin in Winter

Some surprising ways to keep your skin moist and hydrated during winter.

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As soon as the leaves fall off of the autumn trees, my skin begins its winter journey into dryness. Humidifiers in the house? Check. An embarrassing selection of lotions? Check. Nothing seems to prevent the onset of my hands feeling like they’re inside gloves that don’t quite fit, and my shins rejecting every sock as too itchy. Thus begins my annual quest to feel like a peaceful and comfortable inhabitant of my skin.

It’s alarmingly easy to spend a fortune on products that promise to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin. And while some of these can feel wonderful, there are other home remedies for dry skin that can leave you feeling great without costing a lot.

1.  Drink It In
Hydrate your body from the inside by drinking at least 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day. After it passes through your digestive system, water enters your bloodstream to help hydrate your skin cells.

Read More: 7 Healthy Habits You Should Adopt

2.  Eat Oil-Rich Foods
Your diet is an important contributor to your body’s overall hydration—or lack thereof. Eating foods rich in heart-healthy oils and fats—think olive oil, walnuts, and salmon—will help keep your skin cells plumped up with moisture.

3.  Cool Off Your Showers
While hot showers and baths might feel relieving in the moment, hot water actually strips the surface of your skin of the oils that hold onto precious moisture. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends limiting bathing to between 5 and 10 minutes, and blotting—not rubbing—yourself dry with a clean towel.

4.  Set a Smart Lotion Strategy
The best lotions for dry skin are thick and gentle, providing a layer of moisture without too much synthetic fragrance. Oil-based lotions are best because they provide a natural barrier between your skin and the stripping influence of cold winter weather. Apply lotion immediately after your shower, when your skin is still damp and is receptive to hydration.

5.  Be Kind to Yourself
Dry winter skin can be uncomfortable, especially at a time of year when just getting around can be challenging because of harsh weather and cold temperatures. When you take the time to hydrate your skin, practice self-talk that reinforces the kindness you are showing your body. Try visualizing a tropical mist or a sunny shore. Imagine the lotion sinking into your skin layers—or healthy, hydrating foods sending moisture out. Whatever image works for you, know you are taking steps to nurture healthy, hydrated skin.

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