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It's the season for itchy, flaky, rough skin. Want yours to stay soft through spring? Try these ideas:
1. Stick to warm showers. Hot water saps moisture from the skin, making it dry and itchy.
2. Shave. It's tempting to let hair removal slide during the winter, but regular shaving helps exfoliate skin, making it smoother and less likely to flake.
3. Apply moisturizer before going outside. Icy coldness can make skin dry; lock in moisture with cream or lotion before you head outdoors.
4. Switch facial cleansers... If you usually use a gel cleanser, switch to a noncomedogenic milky cleanser. Gels tend to strip the skin, which is good for greasy summers, but bad for parched winters.
5. ...and body cleansers. The same goes for body washes and gels: To avoid leaching your skin of moisture, use an emollient body bar such as Dove.
6. Try body oil. Apply a handful when skin is still damp to make skin ultra-conditioned.
7. Beware of harsh scrubs. You may use a scrub once or twice a week to nix dead skin cells, but be careful not to use it too often -- you could risk making your already-irritated skin red and raw.
8. For very dry areas, apply lotion in layers. Slather on one coat of cream, allow it to absorb, then reapply.
9. Go for alpha hydroxy acids. They not only exfoliate gently, they also lock moisture into your skin.
10. Protect your hands. They can easily become cracked and painful in the winter. Apply moisturizer whenever you wash, and smooth on a bit before you stuff your hands into gloves.