Friday, December 08, 2006

Oh, The weather outside is frightful! (and dehydrating)

Finally, the cold weather has set in and I can start wearing my beloved peacoat. However, dry skin also set in and that is not beloved. Dry skin is annoying for obvious reasons, but it's also harmful and can lead to premature aging. Most of us live in areas where our hands and face are exposed to cold, windy weather daily. Not to mention, in cold and flu season we wash our hands more than normal. So, even though dry skin can be hard to prevent, thank goodness for all of the products made to treat it!

Skincare should be a top priority year-round, but especially so in the winter. When bathing, make sure to exfoliate well, but softly, with your washcloth. Instead of using regular bar soap, buy glycerin soap or a creamy body wash. It's a good idea to lather on the lotion right after you shower AND right before bedtime. For certain areas that need special attention I use my secret weapon, Vaseline. At night-time, just rub a little bit onto elbows, knees and heels. I don't suggest using Vaseline unless you are headed to bed. Due to it's greasy feel, you probably want to allow time for it to sink in.

It's easy to stay moisturized at home with all those lotions lying around. But don't you hate it when you are out in public and notice a dry patch on your hands? Or your elbows? Well I am here to remind you of how uncomfortable you feel at those moments. So, go find a small bottle of lotion and put it in your purse right now, before you forget!

For the best body lotions head straight to the center of style and beauty . . . your local drugstore! Surprised? Don't be. You don't have to break the bank for soft skin! Inexpensive brands like St. Ives, Jergens, Aveeno and Nivea work great. St. Ives Intensive Healing lotion works miracles for me. I like it because I can feel it nourishing my arms and legs, and it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy. Sometimes body lotion is thick, and hard to apply quickly and evenly. But St. Ives lotions are great because they aren't thick and application is easy.

If your lips are feeling dry and irritated try giving them a vacation from your lipcolor. Burt's Bees has a great tinted lip balm, it's a nice alternative if your lips need the break. Chapped lips is one thing, but when flaking occurs, it can be painful. I suggest buying a lip exfoliatior. This set from Benefit ("Lipscription" $30 at is a good choice. Looking for a less expensive alternative? Softly buff your lips with a moist washcloth, moving in tiny circles, and then moisturize right away with a very emollient lip balm. Here's another great time to use Vaseline.

Is your hair starting to feel lifeless? Around this time of year, my hair has problems with split ends and dullness. Sometimes regular shampoo just doesn't cut it. Try a shampoo that specializes in moisturizing! Definitely treat your tresses to something new in the conditioner department. The "3 Minute Miracle" by Aussie is amazing. I've used this off and on for a couple years now, and it never disappoints. After shampooing, I apply my conditioner and twist my hair into a bun with a clip I keep in the shower. This way, during the rest of my shower routine (shaving, washing) my hair is getting a nice long soak with the conditioner. When I am all done, I let my hair down and rinse with semi-cold water. I loved when I discovered this little trick! It has really made my hair softer and more healthy.

All products I mentioned, excluding the Lipscription, can be purchased at your favorite drugstore for under $10. Now that is what I call glad tidings!

How do you deal with dry skin? Share your secrets with us!