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Try these 5 tips to keep your skin healthy during the winter

Taking care of your skin is a year-round necessity, though you may not expect some of the extra attention it needs during the winter.

Just because your skin is covered up more does not mean it is fully protected. Here are some things you should do during the winter to show your skin you care:

Don’t go tanning

Tanning, whether in a booth or in the sun, damages the skin. So while it’s tempting to try and get a warm summer glow in the middle of winter, tanning beds or lamps are not the way to go. The UV rays your skin is exposed to during these tanning sessions can leave lasting damage and put you at risk for skin cancer in the future. If you want healthy skin, give tanning salons a wide berth.

Don’t take hot showers

For many people, nothing sounds quite as nice as a hot shower in the winter. Unfortunately, you will pay the price for this comfort with dried-out skin. Hot showers remove oil from your skin, which dries it out. Trade the hot shower for a lukewarm one, and you’ll be rewarded with healthier skin throughout the day.

While you’re at it, skip your intense, deep-cleaning soap and use something a little milder. Soaps can also rob skin of moisture, so if dryness is your nemesis, you can battle it by using the right soap for your skin type.

Do moisturize

Keeping your skin moist in the winter will do wonders for its health. Use moisturizing cream frequently to combat dry skin, and go the extra mile if your skin seems to be especially dry. Rub in some thick moisturizers and keep them on your skin overnight to give them extra time to work into your skin. If your skin is inflamed or irritated, you can try hydrocortisone cream in small amounts in addition to moisturizers.

Do use sunscreen

The sun may not be doing much to keep you warm during the winter, but its UV rays are still damaging your skin. So even though you may not be as concerned about burns during these colder months, break out the sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and cover up with clothing, helmets and goggles when you head to the mountains to ski or snowboard. Not only will the higher altitude expose you to more UV rays, but the rays can reflect off the snow as well, amplifying their effect.

Do humidify

You can more easily keep your skin soft if you take steps to increase the humidity in your home. Use a small humidifier or even a whole home humidifier to make it more comfortable inside. Then keep the dry air out of your home by sealing up any leaks with caulk, insulation, weather stripping or other products.

“Cold weather can lead to using the heater more in the home, which can dry out your skin,” says Sarah Hilton, a registered nurse. “If you find yourself turning the furnace up, add some moisture to the air with a humidifier.”

Winter can be hard on your skin, but there may be more you can do to protect it than you would expect. Take some extra time to moisturize and protect your skin, and you will reap the rewards all year long.

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