2006_01wx.jpgA quiet weather weekend lies ahead. Tomorrow may be cool enough to be the first day in two weeks with below normal temperatures. The sun tomorrow will take a bit of chill out of the air. Temperatures rebound, but clouds increase, on Sunday. All in all excellent weather for Mulchfest 2006 and the Panther-Giants game.

Is your skin getting dry? Even though the winter has yet to get very cold, the air has gotten dry, even on days with high relative humidity. The dryness is because the amount of moisture that can be in the air decreases rapidly as the air gets colder. There's usually more water in the air on a dry summer day than on a snowy winter day. During winter the amount of moisture in the air is a tiny fraction of that in our skin pores, so we lose that moisture very rapidly. The body's natural defense against water loss is to produce an oil layer between our moist skin and the dry air. That would work great except that to keep a layer of natural oil on your skin you need to not bathe. Not a good solution if you're acne prone or just don't want to be smelly.

An article in the Times yesterday recommended some simple, practical and inexpensive ways to keep your skin moist in cold weather. The suggestions, mostly from people who spend a lot of time outdoors in cold climates and dermatologists boil down to a few simple ideas: keep a humidifier running in your bedroom, pat, don't rub, yourself dry when you get out of the shower, and use a simple oil-based cream such as Nivea or Eucerin. As one dermatologist said, "you could even use a little olive oil or Crisco". If you are prone to acne use a water-based cream. One thing not mentioned in the article is to avoid alcohol-based skin creams. The alcohol acts to increase the removal of moisture. What are your winter skin care tips?

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