By Gloria MacTaggart

If you grew up in colder climates you’ll remember those winter days coming home from ice-skating, tobogganing, skiing and snowball fights with chaffed (chafed) red hands and feet under your wet mittens and socks, your face red and damp and your lips being chapped. Although you may not get quite as wet as an adult, it is still important to stay dry during the winter. Paradoxically, keeping your skin dry is one of the most basic dry skin care rules for winter.

Hands and feet need special care all year round, but this is especially true in winter. Every time your skin is immersed in water – whether from washing your hands, bathing and doing household cleaning or from wet hands under snow-covered gloves or perspiring feet under thick winter socks – you are causing or exacerbating dry skin. During the cold months, this can easily turn into cracked, dry skin and eczema.

There are two major factors causing this phenomenon. First, when water evaporates, so do the skin’s natural oils. Stripped of its natural protection, the skin is vulnerable to anything it contacts – everything from household chemicals and environment pollutants to cold and blustery dry winds.

Second, dry air tends to extract moisture from anywhere it can be found – and that includes your skin.

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Here is your winter dry skin care routine:

— Don’t bath quite so often and make sure the water is not very hot.

— Don’t use harsh cleansers, soaps or skin care products. During the winter your skin is especially sensitive.

— If you’re involved in winter sports, keep your hands and feet dry by changing wet socks and gloves a few times during the day.

— Wear a shielding lotion.

A good shielding lotion bonds with the skin to form an outer protective layer. This layer helps dry skin by enabling it to retain natural moisture and inhibiting the air’s ability to leach it from the skin. It also keeps out chemicals and environmental pollutants. It is especially important in winter because, unlike the usual dry skin care creams, lotions and moisturizers, it does not wash off with water – which means it keeps protecting you even when your hands and feet are damp. Following these few simple rules will make winter much more pleasant and you won’t have to wage the usual constant battle to find dry skin care that works.

About the Author: Author, Gloria MacTaggart, is a freelance writer who contributes articles on skin care for 21st Century Formulations. For more information, visit



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