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Published November 15, 2012, 11:36 PM

5 Things Friday: Five ways to ‘winterize’ your skin-care routine

FARGO – As the temperature drops and the wind chill picks up, we start thinking about weatherizing our homes and winterizing our cars, but we often forget that our skin feels the effects, too.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

Editor’s note: “5 Things Friday” is a weekly feature in SheSays that will run on – you guessed it – Fridays. It will focus on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five. If you have a “5 Things Friday” suggestion, contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

FARGO – As the temperature drops and the wind chill picks up, we start thinking about weatherizing our homes and winterizing our cars, but we often forget that our skin feels the effects, too.

The changes in air temperature and humidity that accompany fall and winter can lead to dull, dry skin that, in turn, creates inflammation that leads to a host of additional problems, such as breakouts.

Dr. Ahmed Abdullah of Fargo’s Plastic Surgery Institute says a few minor adjustments can help minimize these frustrating skin problems.

The plastic surgeon, who released the book “Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin: A Back-to-Basics Approach” this year, offers the following tips for keeping your skin healthy during the winter months.

  1. Re-evaluate your skin-care products.

    Abdullah encourages his patients to take inventory of their skin-care products at least twice a year, usually at the onset of spring and fall.

    As you look at each product, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any of them, the product needs to be replaced.

    • Has the product broken down?

    • Does it smell different?

    • Has the color or texture changed?

    • Does it contain harsh ingredients like alcohol, scrubbing granules or pumice?

    • If the product is open, have you had it for more than a year?

    Products with active ingredients start to lose their effectiveness after about a year. However, cleansing lotions and toner can be kept for up to three years.

  2. Reassess your skin-care regimen.

    Abdullah’s ideal skin-care routine involves three steps – cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing (preferably with a moisturizer with sunscreen).

    Additional steps can be added if you have skin-care concerns such as hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts, under-eye circles, or fine lines and wrinkles.

  3. Adjust your moisturizers.

    If you’re particularly prone to dry skin, switch to a moisturizer that’s rich in humectants to minimize water loss from the skin.

    If you have oily skin, use a lightweight moisturizer during the day and a heavier moisturizer at night.

    Everyone else, however, should consider using a “night moisturizer” both night and day, Abdullah says.

    He says exfoliation is particularly important during colder months, when skin is drier. Exfoliating prevents the build-up of dead skin cells and helps moisturizers be more effective.

  4. Maintain proper humidity levels.

    Lack of humidity in the air causes the skin’s surface to lose moisture quickly and in large amounts, resulting in dryness.

    Abdullah suggests maintaining proper humidity levels in your home with the use of a cool-mist humidifier.

  5. Limit the skin’s exposure to hot water.

    To prevent over-drying the skin, limit the length of your showers and hand-washing. Keep the water temperature moderate.

    Plus: Don’t forget your lips. They’re more prone to moisture evaporation than the rest of your skin. Use lip balm regularly, especially in cold weather.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590

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