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Thursday, February 17, 2011


We still have more than a month of winter ahead of us. This snowman is sitting in front of a house a few blocks from me. Gives you some indication of the winter we've had in NJ this year. It's hard to tell in the photo, but he's close to three stories tall! 

Winter weather means all sorts of winter skin problems, too. Beauty editor Nicole Emmerling is here today to dispel some skin care beauty myths. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! For those of you who live in areas of the country where winter means cold temps and snow, you know that your skin can take quite a beating from the weather. But do you know why? Blood vessels constrict when your skin is cold. This reduces blood flow to the skin and your oil-secreting glands, which in turn causes skin cells to dry out and flake off, thus irritating your skin and making you itch.

We all do various things to counteract the effects of winter on our skin, but many people don’t realize that some of the remedies they use to fight the dryness, irritation, and itchiness are actually adding to the problem, not helping it.

For instance, do you enjoy a long soak in a hot tub on a cold night, thinking it helps hydrate your skin? Wrong! Whether you’re bathing or showering, super-hot water can irritate your skin. Keep those baths and showers short, use lukewarm water, and always, always slather on body lotion afterwards.

Do you think the only way to counteract dry, cracked skin on your feet is to use a pumice stone? If so, you’re making a bad situation worse. That pumice stone is only going to irritate your feet more. Instead, slather on foot lotion and slip into a pair of socks.

Finally, do you believe that the sun isn’t as strong in winter? Do you skip sunscreen for that reason? You shouldn’t. UVB rays are not as strong in cold weather, but UVA rays remain consistent throughout the year. Get into the routine of using sunscreen year-round.

Thanks, Nicole! Good things to know. And readers, Nicole will be back next week with some more tips for keeping your skin healthy throughout the winter. Remember to post a comment to be entered into the drawing for a book from this week's Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP

1 comment:

Carol-Lynn Rossel said...

I had no idea that hot baths, long or short, were not good. I'm not "up" for tepid ones, especially on cold Maine winter nights.
Please put my name in the hat for the book drawing.