6 Sneaky Ways to Winter-Proof Your Skin

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Let's face it: Winter is pretty much the worst season when it comes to looking amazing. Your hair is static-y, your summer glow has turned pasty, and your skin is dry pretty much everywhere thanks to a combo of cold temperatures and indoor heat. Not fun. Try these 6 tricks to keep your skin hydrated and glowing when the mercury drops.


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Choose the Right Products

Swap products with petroleum for ones with plant-based oils, which have antioxidants and vitamins to nourish and protect skin from winter woes. Plus, plant oils penetrate skin quickly and deeply for long-lasting hydration, which is just what the doctor ordered. (Petroleum-based oils may protect skin from wind and extreme conditions, but they can prevent skin from breathing and lead to dehydration, inflammation and breakouts.) Try One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal ($59, oneloveorganics.com), which is formulated with watermelon seed oil to nourish and protect skin or Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream ($42, jurlique.com) to deeply hydrate and protect against environmental aggressors.

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Cleanse Gently and Naturally

Winter temps are a culprit for parched, irritated skin, brittle hair and a dry scalp. To combat these woes, opt for natural soaps, body washes, and shampoos that are free of synthetic surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate. Surfactants (short for surface-active-agents) are responsible for cleansing and lathering action, but synthetic forms tend to be harsher than natural ones and can strip away natural oils leading to overly dry skin and hair. Try Red Flower French Lavender Body Wash ($22, redflower.com), which is rich in hydrating Omega-6 oil and aloe vera and has a masterfully blended scent.


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Treat Yourself Before Bed

Up the ante on your nighttime rituals and include hydrating serums and nourishing moisturizers as a nightly practice. Try Arcona Hydrating Serum ($38, amazon.com) to replenish lipids with moisture-locking hyaluronic acid or La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream ($155, cremedelamer.com) for über-natural, ultra-rich moisture. If you have the discipline to do a hydrating and reparative facial mask once or twice a week, winter is the time to do it. Éminence Organics Coconut Cream Masque is a prime place to start ($52, dermstore.com).

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Turn Down the Temp

A hot shower may feel heavenly on super cold days, but it can strip your skin's natural, protective oils and dry out skin, hair, and your scalp. If you must keep it relatively hot, try using a body oil in the shower, like Spa Technologies Hydrating Laminaria Oil ($35, spatechnologies.com) to lock in moisture. However, resist the temptation to rinse hair in hot water at all costs. Turn down the temp to protect your tresses and scalp from the aggravation.


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Install a Shower Filter

If you have municipal water (meaning you don't get it from a well), chances are it's chlorinated. Chlorine is a great disinfectant, but has a harsh, drying effect on skin and hair and is a common cause for skin irritation and rashes. Plus, we absorb more chlorine by showering in chlorinated water than we do by drinking it. A shower filter will mitigate chlorine and its drying effects on skin and hair. And they're easy to install—most screw onto any kind of showerhead without affecting the water flow. Look for shower filters in hardware and home stores and online at aquasana.com, custompure.com, and showerfilterstore.com.

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Up Your Intake of Omega Oils

Plant oils rich in essential fatty acids will help moisturize your body and skin from the inside out. Foods high in essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, help your skin produce more lipids, which naturally retain and balance natural oils and moisture levels. Cold water fish like salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds and flax seed oil, avocadoes, olives, pumpkin seeds, and nuts are all chief sources to keep skin supple and hydrated especially in the winter.

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