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Skin Care for When It's Cold Outside

But a winter-specific daily skin care regimen can help you stay comfortable in your own skin.

"When the relative humidity inside drops below 60 percent, your skin begins to lose moisture, causing you to feel the dryness and itching that irritates so many during the winter months. Changing your skin care regimen to address the change in humidity is an important factor for maintaining healthy winter skin,"

Dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, chief of the division of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, says in prepared statement.

The most important winter skin care tip is proper moisturizing. Use lotions and creams that contain any of the following ingredients: petroleum; mineral oil; linoleic acid; ceramides; dimethicone; or glycerine.

For best results, Baumann recommends applying moisturizers to the skin within three minutes of getting out of the shower or bath. Doing this helps trap the water in the upper layers of the skin and decrease dryness and itching.

Certain cosmetic ingredients, such as antioxidants, offer additional benefits for winter skin care. Antioxidants can help prevent skin aging and even skin cancer.

Retinoids are another beneficial cosmetic ingredient. Retinoids help reduce acne and oiliness, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

"Retinoids are a great way to reduce the appearance of sun spots that developed over the summer,"Baumann says.

"However, products containing retinoid may be drying and increase the chance of skin flaking and redness, so it's important to use them with heavy moisturizers. Also, if you are using retinoids and plan to be in the sun, you should wear a sunscreen containing an SPF of 15 or higher, regardless of the season, to combat the increased sun sensitivity that is associated with these products," she says.

If your skin is extremely dry, Baumann recommends you use retinoid products that contain mineral oil and are more hydrating.