Monday, December 17, 2007

Beautiful Head to Toe

The winter season is tough on us for oh-so many reasons. First, days are shorter and we deal with more hours of darkness. Add to that the holidays (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years) and all their stress. Toss in a hefty dose of bad weather, and BAM! The next thing you know, you have dry, flaky, itchy skin, and you can't wait for a new season to roll around.

Here are a few tips for caring for your skin--head to toe--so you can avoid the dreaded dry winter skin trap:
  • For your entire body: try showering at night. You'll be less likely to use super hot water at night. When you shower in the morning, you're colder and more likely to turn the heat up a few notches. Hot water zaps your skin of its moisture and leaves behind dry, itchy skin. This tip is hard for me...I adore my morning shower and can't even think about changing to a nighttime cleaning. To keep your skin from drying out while maintaining a morning shower routine, try to use a moisturizing body wash instead of a bar soap. It also wouldn't hurt to use an exfoliating body scrub several times a week.
  • For your feet/heels: In the morning and the evening, apply a lotion containing lactic acid and then try a rich foot cream. For a lactic acid lotion, try something like this and for a foot lotion, try this. You should see results in about 2 weeks. And, just because its winter and you're not wearing flip flops (I hope!) maintain your pedicure schedule. A little professional pampering will keep your feet soft and your nails looking cute!
  • For your back: It is tough to reach your back and moisturize it properly. Yet, the back is prone to dry patches. What's a girl to do? Spritz on a dry oil spray--you'll be able to cover more surface space (and those hard to reach spaces), and your back will be scale free! Or, you could ask someone to lather you with moisturizer daily--but somehow I like the idea of being a bit more self sufficient and using the dry oil spray!
  • For your arms: This may sound a bit funny, but those annoying bumps you get on your arms can be buffed away with an at home microdermabrasion kit (like Olay). This stuff works for your face, so it's sure to make your arms smooth and bump-free!
  • For your hands: Steer clear of harsh antibacterial soaps and instead opt for good old fashioned soap and water. And don't use water that's too hot. Slather on your favorite and richest hand cream whenever you need a little extra pampering. You can also exfoliate your hands with any sort of exfoliating scrub you would use for your body or face.
  • For your lips: Exfoliating your lips regularly will keep them chap-free. But you don't need to buy anything special to get the desired effect. Instead, just light run your toothbrush over your lips each morning and apply your favorite moisturizing lip balm. My current favorite balm obsession is Boots Mediterranean Grape, Olive, and Nectarine Lip Butter (available at CVS and Target).
  • For your scalp: Here's an easy at-home tip for keeping your scalp flake free: massage it for five minutes with olive oil about once a week. If you're experiencing an itchy, flaky scalp, crush an aspirin and mix it in with your olive oil. This will both moisturize and exfoliate.
Now you have no excuses for scaly skin. Of course if you are suffering from eczema or other itchy skin conditions, you may want to consult a dermatologist for some relief.

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