1. Consider switching your moisturizer seasonally. That dry, tight feeling may be caused by a moisturizer that’s not rich enough for your skin’s needs during these drier, colder months. Pick a moisturizer formulated with sodium hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, tocotrienols or dimethicone. These ingredients draw moisture to the skin as well as slow down moisture loss during the day.
2. Take a slightly shorter and cooler shower. Unfortunately, the hotter the water, the more drying it is for the skin. Instead, try letting the water steam up the bathroom for one minute. Avoid scented bath products as those tend to be drying as well.
3. Apply moisturizers while your skin is still damp to “lock in” moisture.
4. Invest in a humidifier. Humidifiers can help alleviate the discomfort associated with dry skin, as well as nose and throat irritation. In addition, many skincare products contain moisture-binding ingredients, such as sodium hyaluronic acid, to help draw moisture from the air onto the skin. If there’s not enough moisture in the air, you likely won’t be getting the full benefit of your products. Be sure to use distilled water and clean the humidifier regularly. A commonly recommended level of humidity is between 45 and 55 percent.
5. Stay hydrated with eight to ten 8 oz glasses of pure spring water daily. Also, incorporate hydrating fruits and vegetables such as zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe and celery.
6. Protect your skin from harsh weather conditions (wind, cold, sun) with a non-chemical, broad spectrum sunscreen. You may not be able to see the sun, but the rays are still reaching you. This is particularly important around reflective surfaces, such as snow.
7. In addition to following the anti-inflammatory diet, increase your intake of the omega-3 family of healthy fats, including salmon, sardines, anchovies, sablefish and halibut, and take high-quality fish oil capsules for supple, smooth skin from the inside out. Include vegetarian sources of omega-3’s such as avocados, raw nuts, chia seeds and ground flax seed.
8. Avoid coffee, as it is a diuretic, and limit alcohol, which will accelerate dehydration.
9. Skip sugary, starchy foods, which cause an inflammatory response in the body and exacerbate a host of skin problems from wrinkles to dry skin to acne, eczema, rosacea, etc.
10. Avoid harsh, granular exfoliators. These “scrubs” may make skin feel smooth immediately, but typically cause more damage over time due to abrasion, which leads to thin, papery skin. Instead, use a gentle, non-acidic exfoliator that removes only the dead skin.