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Catch this winter with beautiful skin

For many people, the cold clear days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring uncomfortable dryness to the skin of the face, hands, and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling: They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema.

1. Seek a Specialist

If you go to your local drugstore,you’ll be hard put to find a salesperson who can give you good advice. That’s why going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment. Such a specialist can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck buying high-end products. “Inexpensive products work just as well as high-end ones. “In fact, the extra price you pay for the expensive stuff is often just for packaging and marketing. What’s most important is how your skin responds to the product — and how you like its feel, not how much money you paid for it.”

2. Moisturize More

You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer.  But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine.Find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. (Hint: Many lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based.)

But choose your oils with care because not all oils are appropriate for the face. Instead, look for “nonclogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Shea oil — or butter — is controversial, because it can clog facial pores. “It would just sit on the skin,” she says. “And it would be really greasy.” You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin.

3. Slather on the Sunscreen

No, sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.

Hair care :

Avoid washing your hair everyday to prevent dandruff and breakage. Even if your hair is problem free rest of the year, some issues are common in everyone during winter. Dry scalp and lifeless hair is a sign that your hair needs moisture.

Massage your scalp with olive oil or coconut oil for a few minutes. Cover your hair in a shower cap and shampoo after 30-45 minutes. Rinse and use a deep conditioner.

Try to minimize the use of blow dryer,curling and straightening iron during winter. Before using heat tools on your hair, apply a heat protecting serum.

Keep the Glow Going

  • Don't smoke. It ages your skin and encourages wrinkling.
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains for healthy skin.
  • Exercise every day. Exercising helps your skin by increasing blood flow. And sweating flushes out dirt from your skin.
  • Find ways to de-stress. Stress can make your skin more sensitive and worsen breakouts.
  • Stay out of the sun. Get a fake tan if you want more color.

Winter-Proofing Your Skin, Hair, and Eyes Red Nose

How to prevent: Blood vessels dilate when the temperature drops--the reason many people get flushed noses after romping outside. Since sun exposure can also cause redness, wear plenty of SPF 30 sunblock, even in the dead of winter. Try Kiehl’s Sun Protection Lotion SPF 30 ($19.50, Wear a ski mask when outdoors for prolonged periods. “It’s best to create a physical barrier,” Felderman says.

How to treat: Flushed features should fade soon after you come indoors. To speed up the process, apply a warm--not hot--compress to the skin for a few minutes.

When to see a professional: If redness persists--especially if it’s accompanied by whiteheads or visible blood vessels--seek medical treatment for rosacea, a form of acne. A dermatologist can prescribe antibiotics or perform a laser treatment to reduce the appearance of blood vessels or redness.

Get an Early Start on Skin Care

Even if you've never taken care of your skin, it's not too late to start. Your skin starts to age when you are only in your mid-20s, though you may not see it. Your favorite products may not work as well anymore. Your genes, daily habits, and the sun cause these changes. So don't wait any longer! You may want to ask a dermatologist now how you can get smoother, softer skin, whatever your age.

Use a Gentle Cleanser

Choose a creamy one for dry skin, or an oil-free, foaming one for oily skin. If you have sensitive skin, talk to your dermatologist about how to avoid irritation. Wash with warm or cool water. Hot water can strip away your skin's natural moisture. Pat your face dry -- don't rub.Less

Dry Hands

How to prevent: The thin skin covering the hands is particularly susceptible to dehydration during the winter. Protect it by wearing gloves outdoors and using rubber gloves when doing dishes. And each time you wash your hands, moisturize afterward. Keep a jar of cream by every sink in the house.

How to treat: For an extra moisture boost, apply a thick layer of hand cream before bed, and sleep wearing white cotton gloves (available at drugstores). The gloves allow better absorption of the cream.

When to see a professional: Cracked, raw hands that sting or burn when you apply creams (or, worse, when you get them wet) should be treated by a doctor. “Severely dry hands may have eczema, psoriasis, or an allergy,” Hawk says. “Oral antibiotics, internal cortisone, ultraviolet light treatments, or strong external ointments may be necessary.”

Exfoliate to help your skin glow.

You can buff off dead skin cells gently with a soft washcloth, spinning brush, or scrubs with synthetic beads. If your skin is dry, exfoliate once a week. If you have oily skin, do it once or twice a week. If you have acne or sensitive skin, talk to your doctor. Exfoliating might irritate your skin.