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Dec 10, 2010 1:22 PM by Carina Corral

Got dry skin? Experts weigh in to help you survive the winter weather

It is called the winter itch.

Along with the cold weather comes dry skin because as the temperature drops, the air holds less water and dry humidity makes for itchy skin.

While we would all like to keep our skin as soft as a baby's bottom, in these conditions dry skin is inevitable.

Cracked knuckles, chapped lips and dry skin all keep San Luis Obispo Dermatologist Jeffrey Herten busy this time of year. He said as soon as the time changes, his phone starts ringing.

"The best solution is not to wash away your natural oils, which means don't shower as much. The second solution is to use a moisturizer," said Dr. Herten.

Long, hot showers dry the skin out, so taking less frequent, short, luke warm showers help. He also said to moisturize while your skin is still moist. Surprisingly enough, do not moisturize with baby oil, as it acts as a solvent that can remove oil in your skin.

Greasy moisturizers are the best, just use them sparingly. And if it smells good, it is probably bad for dry skin. The same goes for soaps.

" The most popular soaps are bought because of their scent and they happen to be some of the most driest soaps," said Dr. Herten.

He also said to switch up washing your hands throughout the day with a moisturizing hand sanitizer.

Meantime, there is nothing like a European facial to help with dry, flaky skin, but if your wallet has dried up to you can get creative at home.

"Oatmeal is a really great mask for all skin types. It's going to help to really soothe any irritated skin from the cold weather," said Esthetician Autm Nichols.

Just mix up some plain, good old fashion oatmeal, spread it over your face for 15 minutes and you have yourself a mini, home facial.

Nichols said you can even add drops of lemon, honey or fruit juice to use as antioxidants in the oatmeal.

You can also make a home exfoliant with water and salt, but it should be used more for your hands, not your face.

"Exfoliating is also good because you want to get the dead skin cells off so anything you do put on the skin is going to penetrate that much easier," said Nichols.

She also said aloe is good for dry skin, but make sure to use the plant, not its gel form.

"A lot of time those have a cooling agent to try to draw the heat out from the sunburn so those can be drying, so just a good old fashion aloe plant can help. I have an aloe plant at home and I just break it open and put it on my skin sometimes," said Nichols.

The more we age, the drier our skin, but if we heed to these tips maybe we can turn back time.


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