(NaturalNews) Cold weather, low humidity levels and wind are factors that can  really dry out and damage your skin, especially when central heaters are used at  home. How can one alleviate dryness and help skin stay moist and healthy through  the coldest months of the year?

Moisturize more!

Find an “ointment” moisturizer that is oil-based,  rather than water-based. The oil will create a protective layer on the skin that  retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. When choosing a moisturizer, it is  best to opt for natural organic skincare products or nourish skin with pure  oils, such as almond, avocado, coconut or jojoba oil. You can also look for  lotions containing humectants, a class of substances that attract moisture to  your skin, such as glycerine.
Always read the ingredient label;  preservatives and fragrances can dry and irritate sensitive skin. Preservatives  that seem to cause problems for many people include propylene glycol,  quaternium-15 and imidazolidinyl urea.
In addition, stop using deodorant  bars, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps and skin care products containing  alcohol, like hand sanitizers. They can strip oils from the skin.

Protect your skin when going outside

It is important to protect your  skin even on a cloudy or snowy day. Snow is an even better reflector than water!  Use a natural sunscreen and lip balm (lips don’t have oil glands, and they can  dry out easily, causing chapped lips) and wear a scarf and gloves to help  prevent chapped lips and hands.

Avoid superhot showers or baths

Hot water removes the skin’s natural  oils more quickly than warm or cold water. This is why showers should be limited  to five minutes, using warm water rather than hot. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal  or baking soda can help relieve skinthat is so dry that it has  become itchy. After washing, moisturizing skin immediately with oil helps trap  water in the skin.

Drink more water or herbal tea to prevent dehydration

The skin is often  the outer reflection of the inner being. To keep the body hydrated, drinking  water is paramount. Alcohol, caffeine and all kinds of diuretics should be  avoided. Drinking herbal tea and eating fluid-rich foods, such as fruit,  vegetables and soup, can also help.

Eat foods rich in omega-3s and vitamin D

Essential fatty acids (omega-3s  and omega-6s) are most important. These healthy fats help retain natural oils in  your cells and keep skin well hydrated. Omega-3 can be found in cold-water fish  as well as in poly-unsatured and unrefined vegetable oils such as flax oil.
Because  of unsafe levels of mercury and toxicity in some kinds of fish (especially the  big ones such as salmon), it is advisable to supplement diet with good vegetable  oils or seeds instead (like chia or hemp seeds).
Also, one study by the  Johnson & Johnson Skin Research Center found a link between low vitamin D  levels and drier skin. Individuals with lower levels of vitamin D had lower  average skin moisture. The skin consists of a special layer designed to convert  ultraviolet B radiation from the sun into vitamin D; a lack of sun in the winter can have a substantial  impact on the dryness of your skin.
Few foods contain significant amounts  of vitamin D naturally. The best sources are wild-caught salmon and mackerel.  Indeed, it may be worth supplementing your diet with vitamin D in the  winter.

Don’t overheat your home and office

Central heating systems and space  heaters draw moisture out of the air and out of your skin. It is recommended to  keep indoor temperature below 72° F. Using a humidifier is a good option,  especially in the bedroom, to keep skin well hydrated while  sleeping.
These skincare tips should help with dry  skin. However, some cases of dry skin should be seen by a doctor, especially  if symptoms get worse. There are internal factors that can cause dry skin,  including overall health, genetics and medical conditions like asthma,  allergies, dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis.
Sources for this article  include:
About the  author: Originally from France, Joséphine Beck has qualification in  digestive care and nutritional product advising, and holds a master degree in  communication and information. She now lives in BC, Canada. Joséphine is the  founder of the website <a href=”http://www.optiderma.com”>OptiDerma…. through which she  helps people find <a href=”http://www.optiderma.com/en/skin-disorders/s… remedies for  skin problems</a>.
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