(Family Features) From non-friendly weather conditions to itch-inducing dyes found in everyday products, your skin can be exposed to a variety of unexpected irritants. But, protecting and maintaining healthy, comfortable skin can be easy with simple tips and products.
"With so many skin types out there, getting to know how yours reacts to different factors - be it cold weather or harsh chemicals - is important," says dermatologist Elizabeth Hale, M.D. "Take care of skin with products that are skin-friendly, mild and hypoallergenic, to avoid discomfort. Just be sure to test out each on a small area of skin before applying liberally."
Here are three more tips from Dr. Hale to keep your skin feeling its best during the cold-weather months:
Stay hydrated: The key to protecting skin is to keep in check with everyday habits, such as getting good nutrition, enough sleep and plenty of water. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day is necessary not only for your skin, but also for your body's overall health. During the winter, try incorporating hot tea with lemon into your recommended daily serving of water to keep warm when you're outside, but still give your body the hydration it needs.
Check your laundry: During the frigid months, be sure to cover up with hats, scarves, gloves and long-sleeves to avoid cracked, dry skin. Also, go for comfort by layering soft, lightweight fabrics that aren't aggravating to the skin, like cotton. Keep your favorite clothing clean and smelling fresh, without irritation to the skin, by using a hypoallergenic laundry detergent. ARM & HAMMERtm offers two skin-friendly versions - a classic perfume and dye free option and Sensitive Skin Plus Scent Laundry Detergent, which has been clinically tested to be gentle on skin. You can learn more about skin-friendly laundry choices at www.armandhammer.com.
Apply sunscreen: From tailgating to hiking to skiing, make sure you're still protecting your skin during outdoor cold-weather activities. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime, so it's important to apply sunscreen year-round, even when it seems as though UV rays aren't as strong as they actually are. Aim to apply sunscreen liberally on all exposed skin before you step out the door and reapply an SPF 15 or higher lotion every two hours when outdoors for an extended period of time.
Irritated skin is no small matter and should be taken care of every day. Using the right products and taking necessary precautions to reduce the stinging, burning, itching and redness of sensitive skin will keep it feeling comfortable during all the colder weather months.
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