|Photo by Graur Codrin|
Do drink plenty of water. At least 8 glasses per day to keep your skin and the rest of your body healthy. Limit coffee and alcohol, which can cause dehydration.
Don't wear tight fitting clothes, or clothes that make you feel itchy. Choose cashmere or cotton, instead of wool.
Do eat plenty of foods that contain biotin (vitamin B7) such as whole grains, swiss chard, egg yolk, and cheese. Biotin deficiency can cause dry skin and hair loss.
Don't wear wet gloves or socks, change them as soon as you can! Wetness can make dry skin even worse and cause cracking.
Do wear sunscreen. Winter sun, especially combined with snow glare, can damage skin even if doesn't feel hot. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, see my post on Sunscreen Safety or see the Skin Deep Database's 2011 Sunscreen report for recommendations of safe sunscreens.
Don't use harsh peels or masks, such as ones that contain clay. Instead, choose masks that moisturize and nourish. A personal favorite is Jurlique's Intense Recovery Mask. Also avoid harsh exfoliators that contain crushed walnut shells. Instead, I like Pangea Organics Adzuki Bean and Cranberry Scrub because it gently exfoliates with soft adzuki beans leaving skin silky soft, without over drying.
Do try adding oatmeal (1-2 cups for a standard bath tub) to your bath water to fight eczema and sooth itchiness.
Don't take hot baths or use hot water to wash hands. Hot water can dissolve skin's natural oils. Instead, take lukewarm water and keep baths and showers short.
Do pat dry (don't rub) and apply moisturizer immediately after showering or bathing. For face, pat dry with wash cloth, apply appropriate toner for your skin type, then apply moisturizer.
Don't wash hands too often. The skin on your hands is thinner than the rest of the body, so more vulnerable to dryness. Use a gentle soap, and lukewarm water when hand-washing is necessary.
Do use moisturizer that contains natural humectants such as shea butter, lanolin, avocado oil, and jojoba oil.
Don't use hand or body wash that contains sodium laureth sulfate, a detergent that can irritate dry skin and cause eczema.
Got more skin tips for winter? Leave a comment!