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  • Writer's pictureFountain of Youth Staff

Winter Skin Fixes

At the Fountain of Youth Medical Spa, our services are designed to help you keep your skin glowing all year long. As we are approaching winter, using our heaters, and wanting to warm up in a hot shower or bath, our skin can suffer. We have scoured the internet to find some great fixes that will help you stay looking your best. Please visit us in person for a free consultation and while you are there, check out our wonderful services.

1. Don't take super-hot (or long) showers Nothing sounds better than a steaming hot shower or bath on a cold day, but hot water is actually the enemy of dry winter skin. "Too much hot water causes increased evaporation of your skin's natural hydration," explains Anne Chapas, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. And keep it short, adds GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D.: All you need is about 10 minutes. To make your shower more moisturizing, swap parching soaps and gels for a body cleansing oil or bath oil with fatty acid-rich soybean oil or other plant oils to fortify and protect skin's moisture barrier. 2. Use a thicker moisturizer in the winter After your shower, use a soft towel to pat skin dry and apply a hydrating moisturizer. Opt for a cream or balm that's thicker than the lotion you use during the summer. The thicker texture "seals moisturizing ingredients into dry, cracked, flaking skin," Dr. Chapas says, helping them adhere for long-term, intense healing. She suggests using balms and salves with silicone, petrolatum, lanolin, and natural oils. For dry skin on the face, GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann recommends layering moisturizer with a hydrating serum packed with hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which can help increase moisturization. 3. Moisturize multiple times a day It's important to slather yourself in moisturizer in the morning and before you snooze, starting with your face. Before you put on pajamas, rub a hydrating body cream all over from your neck down to your feet (slip on socks to help the formula soak in). It'll function the same way a night cream for your face does, softening skin and keeping moisture in as you sleep. Try GH Beauty 4. But only wash your face once per day In the winter, switch to one wash at night so you don't dry out your skin. And what type of cleanser you use matters, too: Foaming and gel face washes can leave skin squeaky-clean, but also parched due to their stronger cleansing ingredients. Instead, opt for a gentler cleansing oil or micellar water cleanser, which are less likely to contain the harsh surfactants that can dehydrate skin. For extremely dry skin, try a cleansing balm, which are rich, waterless formulas based on butters (like shea) and oils that soften skin as they purify and double as makeup remover. 5. Skip the toner Astringents, often made with alcohol to absorb oil, are best for balmier months when you’re more sweat-prone because they can exacerbate dryness, explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Can’t pass up that refreshing toner feeling? Try spritzing on an alcohol-free face mist with hydrating ingredients such as natural oils and glycerin. You can make your own DIY face mist by shaking 2 cups of water with 10 drops of soothing chamomile essential oil in a small spray bottle, says Samantha Cooper, spa director at Canyon Ranch Lenox. 6. Exfoliate in moderation The last thing raw, dehydrated, winter-worn skin needs is a harsh, abrasive scrub or peel (or even loofah or cleansing sponge), which can further deplete moisture and worsen irritation. If you notice flaking or redness when you exfoliate, swap in a gentler face peel formula with lactic acid or fruit acids or face scrub with round jojoba beads, which are less likely to be dehydrating to skin. Steer clear of stronger acids like glycolic acid and rougher exfoliants like sugar and salt, and use your exfoliator no more than once per week, the GH Beauty Lab recommends. Swap more abrasive cleansing tools like scratchy loofahs, sponges, or body brushes for softer washcloths, which are less likely to disturb skin's hydration barrier, and lightly dab your face and body dry with your towel rather than rubbing. Avoid scratching skin, too. No matter how itchy your dryness is, scratching can damage skin's surface and cause more moisture loss. Instead, dab a hydrating ointment or balm on the area to immediately calm and protect it. 7. Humidify your home Don't go to sleep without one. The heat that keeps you warm in your home is also very dry, and because the windows are closed, it stays trapped inside. Use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air, recommends Rachel Rothman, GH Institute chief technologist and director of engineering.

8. Moisturize all over Areas of your body like the hands and feet can easily be missed, but are also prone to dehydration. Skin on the feet is thicker, so can build up with dry, rough layers of dead skin, and skin on the hands is constantly exposed to the elements (cold, wind) and repeated hand washing, which can deplete skin's moisture. Keep hands and feet soft and hydrated all winter long by slathering on a rich hand cream (like GH Beauty Lab hydrating hand creams test winner Dove DermaSeries Dry Skin Relief Replenishing Hand Cream), and a top-rated foot cream (like Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream) before you go bed at night. Then, slip on socks or gloves: The fabric and heat inside them will help the formula absorb into skin. 9. Drink up! Proper hydration is directly related to skin cell regeneration, GH Nutrition Lab experts say, which is key to a glow. Aim to sip eight to 10 cups per day of unsweetened beverages such as water (including sparkling or fruit-infused), tea, and coffee. That said, unless your body is dehydrated, drinking more water than you need won't help moisturize your skin, so there's no need to guzzle gallons (unless you want to!). 10. Don't skip your lips The skin on your lips is thinner than the rest of your face, making it more susceptible to damage from the harsh winter elements. To replenish hydration and protect them, it's especially crucial to wear balm at night, when indoor heat and even breathing through your mouth can exacerbate dryness. When you apply your face and body moisturizers nightly, smooth on a coat of a rich lip balm as well to fend off flakes and chapping. But not all lip balms are created equal (which is why some may not seem to work well or at all). To find the most effective formula, Aral suggests looking for both moisturizing and occlusive ingredients, which form a protective barrier to lock in the nourishment and hydrate, like Kiehl's 11. Add an extra layer of skin care To treat and cure extremely dry skin patches, such as around the eyes and on the cheeks, try this Beauty Lab and dermatologist-approved trick: Dab on a thick ointment like GH Seal star Aquaphor as a last step in your skincare routine. It acts as an occlusive, sealing in moisture and skin care and protecting skin from dehydration. For optimal effects, apply once any other products are already absorbed and rub in with fingers to help it soak in.

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