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Got Winter Skin? Here's What to Do.

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It seems like right when winter is about to end, people come in with the most parched skin. There are several things you can do to keep your skin supple and intact. Remember, your skin is your first line of defense against pathogens and germs. Cracked, dry winter skin leaves the door wide open for cold and flu bugs to stage their attacks... but that won't happen if you include a few of these suggestions in your daily routine.

Try dry brushing before you get in the shower to exfoliate, stimulate circulation, boost your immune system and help you detoxify. Dry brushing has been around for hundreds of years and will leave you feeling invigorated and energized, not to mention get rid of cellulite! Follow up by moisturizing your whole body.

  1. Shower with a body wash instead of bar soap. Body washes have emollients that don't strip your skin of vital, protective oils. Try Alaffia body washes and support a local company while you're at it. Alaffia is based right here in Olympia. Showering less often also preserves vital oils. Particularly because our water is treated with so many chemicals that may keep it safe for drinking but can do a number on your skin's natural oils.

  2. Moisturize your entire body after you shower. I love to use a combination of fermented coconut oil and shea butter body lotion from Alaffia. The skin is both oil and water loving and needs water and oil-based products to provide optimal absorption and protection.

  3. Don't use hand sanitizer! I can't stress this enough. Even small children who are told they need to sanitize their hands at school before lunch are experiencing dangerously chapped little hands. Wash your hands with soap and water and moisturize with lotion after every wash. Try keeping purse-size creams in your bag, backpacks, every sink in the house, your desk... everywhere!!

  4. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. A quick test to see if you're properly hydrated is the pinch test. Pinch a bit of skin on the back of your hand and see how quickly it springs back. If it takes more than a couple of seconds, drink up!

  5. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom. A table-top humidifier on your nightstand should do the trick. We are in our bedrooms for (hopefully) the longest period of consecutive hours, so you have plenty of time to reap the benefits. Humidity will help relieve dry nasal passages as well.

  6. Chapped lips a problem? Exfoliate your lips gently first with a scrub, dry tooth brush or dry washcloth. Next, apply a little eye cream (again, your skin needs water). Eye cream was developed especially for the thin skin around the eye area. This applies to the lips as well..same thin skin! Follow up with a natural lip balm to seal in the hydration.

  7. Add a serum to your skin care routine. Swap out your moisturizer for a richer one for the winter months.

  8. Get regular facials, manicures and pedicures. Our faces and hands are certainly the most exposed parts of our bodies and our feet are notoriously neglected! Getting them treated professionally and regularly ensures proper cleansing, exfoliation and hydration.

  9. Get plenty of sleep! Lack of sleep causes dehydration as well as well as a host of other health consequences.