Hydration Extras: 5 Tips for Reviving Wintertime Skin

1. Adopt a no-excuses approach to hydration: Although water may be nature's best medicine for dry, flaky skin; irritability and malaise; low-energy; and other common wintertime afflictions, many people find consuming adequate amounts an unpleasant chore. The simplest solution is to liven up the taste of water wit some fresh lemon or other favorite fruit juice. If you're sensitive to the cold, try to resist the urge for a steaming cup of caffeinated coffee or tea. Hot lemon water or herbal tea will warm you up without depleting body fluids by putting your kidneys into overdrive. 2. Maintain indoor humidity levels of approximately 60%: Using humidifiers or vaporizers, hanging wet laundry inside opening your windows for ten minutes a day, or placing shallow bowls of water near heating vents will help relieve that tight creepy-crawly feeling caused by dry, overheated air. 3. Pump up the volume of surface moisture: By adding water and other nutrients to depleted surface cells, regular spritzes of a high-quality plant-derived toner will help keep your complexion looking supple and radiant. 4. Avoid over-washing chapped, irritated skin: By dissolving the valuable oils that bond surface skin cells together, excessive bathing can disrupt the integrity and functioning of our skin's protective barrier. One lukewarm bath or shower daily is enough to remove harmful bacteria and skin debris without damaging our skin's natural defenses against infection and moisture loss. 5. Stick with green anti-bacterials: The potent synthetic anti-bacterials in today's popular soaps, deodorants, hand wipes, and other personal care items claim to not only keep our skin fresh and squeaky clean, but also protect our body from the deadly germs of winter. In fact, many scientists agree that this growing arsenal of germ fighters is causing more problems than it solves. In addition to promoting dry, irritated skin, our increasing addiction to synthetic anti-bacterials may actually make us even more susceptible to infection. To learn why, check out this informative online article http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f01/web3/bond.html. My next blog post will discuss the next important step in restoring softness and elasticity to roughed-up winter skin.