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Every season poses challenges to your skin, but cold, dry weather is especially harsh. Prevent chapped, flaky skin this winter with these 10 tips.

Bathe or shower in lukewarm water.

Hot water may feel nice, but soaking in a burning-hot bath strips your skin of its natural oils and dilates blood vessels, causing moisture loss. You’re better off taking a five- to 10-minute shower or bathing in lukewarm water. Adding oatmeal or baking soda to the water is also effective for relieving dry, itchy skin.

Skip greasy skin care products.

Moisturizer is the key to keeping your skin soft in the winter, but greasy products can clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. Try a light cream first, and if your skin still dries out, switch to an “ointment” moisturizer that contains non-clogging oils. Look for avocado oil, primrose oil, mineral oil or almond oil. Humectants – including glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids – are also known for locking in moisture without clogging pores.

Read labels carefully.

In addition to knowing what non-clogging ingredients to look for in skin care products, you should also know what to avoid. Steer clear of added fragrances and chemicals, especially if you have psoriasis, eczema or other sensitive skin conditions.

Wear sunscreen.

You might think you can skip sunscreen in the winter, but anytime you meander outside, you should protect your skin with at least 30 SPF, no matter the season. Look for a non-greasy moisturizer with sunscreen added to make sun protection an effortless part of your morning routine.

Run a humidifier.

Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, and then run a portable or whole-house humidifier to add much-needed moisture to the dry winter air. Tone it back a bit if condensation starts to form on the inside of your window panes.

Exercise indoors.

Cold air lacks moisture, which could leave your face and hands feeling chapped when you return home from a winter run. Change your workout routine to include indoor yoga, strength training and running on a treadmill.

Dress in layers.

Drastic temperature changes between the morning and afternoon make it necessary to dress in layers during the winter. Choose breathable cotton or smooth silk rather than scratchy wool or irritating nylon.

Protect your hands.

Your hands have thin, delicate skin that requires regular moisturizing. Put on lotion every time you wash your hands, and wear rubber gloves when handling hot water or chemicals to protect your skin.

Moisturize your feet often.

After each shower or bath, exfoliate your feet to remove dead skin and apply a thick lotion containing petroleum jelly or glycerine. These ingredients are good at penetrating the skin on the soles of your feet.

See a specialist.

If you’re having skin problems this winter, seek the advice of a skilled specialist at Arlington Dermatology in Rolling Meadows, IL. We can analyze your skin type, recommend skin care products and provide personalized skin protection tips.

To schedule an appointment, please contact us today at (847) 725-0824.