Winter gifts for your face, hands and body

Winter may be a time of caroling, feasts and family, but it’s also a time of bitter winds, low humidity, lots of sweets and being cooped up indoors for days at a time. The season can leave your outer layer feeling dry and looking dull.

What can you do? Plenty. Here’s a list of holiday gifts you can give your skin throughout the day to keep you feeling healthy and looking radiant:

For your morning routine

  • Short, warm-water baths and showers. Cold water constricts blood flow, while long or hot baths strip natural oils.
  • A shower filter to remove chlorine and fluoride, which make water more alkaline, causing dryness.
  • A mildly acidic shower gel that maintains the skins pH balance. Look for ingredients like citric acid or hyaluronic acid.
  • A mildly acidic toner for use after showering or bathing, which improves skins texture and hydration.
  • An exfoliating scrub for use two or three times a week to remove dead skin cells.

At the makeup mirror

  • A lightweight, fragrance-free, mildly acidic moisturizing lotion for use twice daily. Heavy oils and butters can’t readily penetrate the skin and may clog it. Light lotions help preserve the skins acidic protective layer, guarding against bacteria and viruses.
  • Sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) for daily use. Remember, snow reflects up to 85 percent of solar radiation.
  • A dry brush made with natural fibers. Everyday dry brushing not only removes skin debris but also stimulates circulation. Pay special attention to rough areas like elbows, knees and feet.
  • A humidifier, which helps combat dryness caused by indoor heat.

At every meal

  • A vitamin-packed smoothie made with fresh fruits like bananas, oranges or papayas. The high vitamin C content of these fruits may help reduce UV damage and may help prevent dry skin.
  • Plenty of water, which helps transport nutrients throughout the body.
  • Lots of foods rich in omega-3s like salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, tofu, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce and winter squash. These keep the skin moisturized from the inside out.

In the great outdoors

  • Sunglasses with UV protection to guard the delicate skin around your eyes from being damaged by the winter sun, which can reflect off snow and ice with surprising intensity.
  • Layered clothing for outdoor activities like walking and building snowmen. Wear soft, breathable, nonabrasive fabrics like cotton next to your skin. Keep itchy, insulating fabrics like wool on the outer layer.

Karen Sinclair Drake is the research and development director at Sophyto.