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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Ask Dr. Desai: How Can I Survive Winter Skin?

Nov 30, 2011 03:05PM ● By Dr. Vinay Desai

Winter, with its frigid winds, can wreak havoc on exposed skin and extremities. The dry air in a heated home can also cause damage to skin, especially for those who have eczema or psoriasis. And with cold and flu season in full swing, all that extra hand-washing also dries out our skin. Thankfully, there are simple ways to dramatically improve dry skin during cold-weather months.

• Avoid moisture-stripping facial or personal care products such as chemical astringents, facial masks or lotions containing alcohol.
• Avoid hot tubs and saunas.
• Use a humidifier to keep your house and skin hydrated.
• Hydrate from the inside by drinking adequate water while minimizing the consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
• Choose personal care products that contain natural ingredients, and use oils such as avocado, olive, camellia seed or almond.
• Wash dry, cracked heels with warm water and sea salts to remove dead skin.Follow up with a natural foot cream.
• Apply avocado oil, camellia seed oil or a natural moisturizing cream to the hands and feet before bed, and then wear lightweight, comfortable socks and gloves.
• Wear sunscreen—sunlight and glare reflect off snow and ice to intensify sunradiation.
• Use gentle soaps such as goat’s milk soap instead of soaps containing chemical detergents, which can strip the skin of natural oils.
• Exercise often to maintain proper circulation and stay in shape. Staying physically active helps skin stay radiant.
• Dress warmly in layered clothing, and minimize prolonged exposure to cold, blustery winds. Cover as much exposed skin as possible. Cold temperatures cause exposed skin to chafe.
• Be cautious about using products containing retinol A, which can cause the skin to become too dry and exfoliated during the winter.
• Always consult a physician for additional advice.

Dr. Vinay Desai, a pharmaceutical scientist, helped his wife, Donna Desai, begin making soap in 2008, using the ancient Indian medicinal science of Ayurveda, essential oils and milk from goats living at Desai Farms. For more information on any of Dr. Desai’s moisturizing, handmade Ayurvedic goat’s milk herbal soaps, visit there are simple ways to dramatically improve dry skin during cold-weather months..

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