Although winter did not officially begin, the season seems to be getting a head start this year. We have already had days in November that were more reminiscent of January weather. If this is any prediction of the coming winter days, you can get ready to combat the lower temperatures as well as your skin’s loss of moisture. Dry indoor heating systems don’t help matters either. The following tips will provide your skin with some TLC and the extra pampering it will need.

Humidity, which is a nightmare for the curly-haired, is actually an asset to the face and body. Humidity affects every type of skin, be it dry, oily, or combination. Actually, pre-existing conditions like eczema, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea are also exacerbated by excessive dryness.

The most effective ways of protecting your skin from dehydration is to maintain a proper diet (through food and water), incorporating a good daily skincare routine, and consistent use of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15 or higher. Good basic skincare includes the following steps: (1) Cleansing your face with a cleanser geared to your skin type. (2) Using a mild exfoliant once or twice a week. (3) Applying a freshener or toner customized to your particular skin. (4) Following up with a rich moisturizer. The name of the game is hydration, hydration, hydration.

To keep your skin from drying out, you will want to add the right layer of moisturizers on a daily basis. You may also need to decrease the use of skin-drying products such as astringents or toners with alcohol. Certain skin conditions actually call for occlusive moisturizers, which block the moisture content from escaping through your pores. Running a humidifier is another good way to introduce some hydration.

Chapped lips caused by exposure to cold is also a problem this time of year, because no lip color looks good on top of cracked lips. If you normally wear lipstick, try using a vitamin E stick prior to applying lipstick. This will help safeguard your lips, plus heal them as well.

Rashes this time of year can be triggered by external and internal factors. Psoriasis, for example, can be aggravated during winter and is best handled by a dermatologist. Certain abrasive factors such as wool or synthetic fabrics can also be damaging to sensitive skin. If a rash is caused by application of a new skincare product, try to isolate which product is the culprit. For those with sensitive skin, always start a new series of products one at a time in order to better identify the one that may trigger a reaction.

Hands and feet can get severely chapped during winter months and need to be properly moisturized with strong emollients. Cracked skin is a result of excessive dryness, which can progress to the point where skin forms fissures and cracks. If this continues untreated, severe conditions and infections may occur. If you apply creams that contain lipids, collagen, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or other rich emollients you will avoid skin problems. Wearing gloves and warm socks at all times will also help protect your hands and feet while keep them looking lovely during the coming winter months.

Taking care of your skin a worthwhile investment, since it’s your first line of defense against the elements. With a bit of common sense, practical procedures, and technical knowledge, you can weather the winter storms and maintain beautiful skin all season long.

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.