It’s a relief that winter weather forces us to cover 99 percent of our bodies in clothing. How else would we hide the fact that our skin from head to toe is pitifully dry? It’s bad enough that we have to be aware of the condition ourselves, constantly itching and moisturizing, hoping that the discomfort will fade. Every morning we awake, naively believing that today, our lips will not be chapped, our elbows will not mimic sandpaper and our T-zone will not look like the Sahara. And every morning, we are disappointed.
Until spring blossoms bringing with it moist, skin-loving air, we are doomed to suffer from dry . . . everything. But a few simple habits can help ease the itch and provide us with a surface we thought only existed during the summer:
• Moisturize – it’s only logical that dry skin will be helped by moisture. Cover every inch with an oil-based moisturizer, and you’ll be well on your way to locking in the essential oils attempting to escape.�
• Hydrate – water keeps your entire body hydrated including your skin. Drink up.
• Humidify – if the air around you is dry, you will be, too. Strategically place a humidifier (or two or three) in your house to keep the air decidedly damp.
• Balm – your lips are the most easily chapped surface on your body. Use a balm or petroleum jelly to help keep them smiling.
• Use Sunscreen – the sun may not be present but its rays are. Apply lotion with an SPF of at least 15 to any exposed part of your body, including your lips.
• Lather with Mild Soaps – the antibacterial and deodorized soaps strip your skin of its essential oils. Use mild, basic soaps.
• Cover Up – wear gloves and lots of layers to shield your skin from the cold, whipping wind. If you start to overheat, remove one layer. Sweat will irritate and dehydrate.
• Keep Showers Short – as luxurious as the long, hot, steamy showers are, they do nothing for your skin. Take warm, short baths and showers. When you finish, pat dry rather than rub.
• Shave with Care – use a lubricant and sharp blade to avoid further irritation, and always shave in the direction of growth.