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Cold temperatures and dry air can leave skin feeling uncomfortably dry. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep your skin soft and healthy through the winter months.

1. Moisturize often.

Using a moisturizer during the winter can help trap needed moisture in your skin. For the best results, slather on the moisturizer right after you’ve dried off from your shower or bath. Thicker ointments and creams are usually more effective than lotions. Look for those with shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil or mineral oil.

2. Don’t ditch the sunscreen.

Make sunscreen part of your daily regimen, even in the winter. Choose one that provides an SPF of 30 or higher.

lotion3. Protect your lips, too.

Like the rest of your face, your lips need daily protection from the elements. Select a lip balm that contains an SPF of 30 or higher and feels soothing on your lips. One good choice is a lip balm that contains petrolatum, also called mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Avoid any lip balm that stings or irritates your lips.

4. Choose gentle products.

Make sure to use only unscented, gentle products on your skin during the winter months. Some harsher ingredients can dry out and irritate sensitive winter skin. To help keep dryness at bay, avoid deodorant soaps and any products that contain fragrance, alcohol, alpha-hydroxy acid or retinoids.

5. Use warm water and a soft touch.

Keep your skin happy by using warm water instead of hot for showers and baths. Hot water can remove the natural oils from your skin. You should also keep your bath or shower time to no more than 10 minutes. More time in the water can dehydrate your skin. When you step out of the bath, gently pat dry your skin with a towel — don’t rub.

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