Skin is our first line of defense against winter weather, but it is also the first casualty of cold weather. The cold air, biting wind and brutally dry indoor heat puts our skin through a beating. Too often, we have to deal with cracked hands, chapped lips and dried out skin as a result. Luckily, we are moving into spring now and there are a lot of steps you can take that can help repair your skin after the tortures of winter. Here are a few tips to keep your skin soft and smooth now that warmer days have returned.

Stay Hydrated.
Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out by drinking lots and lots of water. Also be sure to eat moisture-rich foods with vitamin C, such as seasonal leafy greens and citrus fruits. Foods with healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are also good for your skin’s health, so stock up on fish, nuts, natural oils and avocados.

Turn down the heat.
Although it’s tempting to run the shower on the highest temperature, it can be damaging to your skin. If you go back into the cold soon after running hot water over skin, you risk breaking capillaries. Instead, bathe, shower and wash your face with only lukewarm water, or splash your face with cold water after washing. Put moisturizer on right after bathing, when your pores are open and skin is most absorbent.

COO-00212-7Cover up and Use Sunscreen.
Be sure to use a quality sunscreen on all exposed skin anytime you step outside. To save yourself a step, swap your foundation for a sunscreen that also provides coverage. The Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 is easily soaked up by the skin, leaving a natural looking finish on the skin.

elizabeth-arden-prevage-night-restorative-creamMoisturize your face.
The number one thing you can do to keep your skin soft and supple is to moisturize frequently with high-quality lotions and moisturizers. Even if you’re not one to regularly use a night cream, you should add it to your routine for extra moisture. A good quality night moisturizer will reverse the damage done during the day.

PREVAGE Night Cream from Elizabeth Arden stimulates your skin’s repair process and reduces lines and wrinkles overnight. For the same amazing benefits without the bank-busting price, try Nu Skin Night Nourishing Cream The ingredients in this cream work to reinforce cell membranes. You’ll wake up with more flexible and resilient skin, ready to face yet another day of winter.

10437887-1303371953-808228Pamper all of your skin.
Don’t forget to moisturize the rest of your body too. Give all of your skin a nice covering before slipping between the sheets at night. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter has a nice, light texture and the soy milk and honey formula is easily absorbed by thirsty skin.

Rub on some Bliss Foot Patrol to exfoliate and relieve your tired feet.

Keep a hand cream in your purse to protect against brittleness and cracking. The L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream is a worldwide bestseller for a reason. It will leave your hands feeling smooth and protected.

Also keep a heavy-duty lip-balm on hand and apply frequently. Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter makes lips soft and works double duty on elbows, heels or any other area in need of some extra protection.

-by Cary Teller