Beauty & Beyond: How to Keep Your Skin Glowing & Hydrated

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My husband and I just had a heated heat fight for the first time this season. I, believe it or not, am a stubborn woman (show me your shocked face) and refuse to turn the heat on earlier than Thanksgiving. My husband, on the other gloved hand, wants it on already. No way.

Once I turn the heat on, I know what'??s going to happen (I mean besides the huge gas bills). Dry skin. There'??s nothing worse than that. OK, maybe a few things are worse. Like going through an entire first date with a poppyseed in your front teeth. But I digress. These are dry days, my lovelies. Even though snow and sleet are on the forecast for '??drier'? winter months, our skin is showing the beginnings of dehydration in the fall'??flakes, blotches, scaly skin.

Hydrating is obvious in the summer, when you'??re sweating it all out. But let'??s not forget how late fall and early winter winds can rob your skin of needed moisture during the chilly months. It'??s sneaky that way. Here are a few tips to get more skin-saving hydration during the upcoming seasons, so your skin stays healthy:

'?¢ Get a humidifier for your bedroom. Like a thief in the night, the indoor heated air can rob your skin of much-needed moisture. Scary, huh? So replenishing moisture in the air doesn'??t give this bad boy bandit a chance.

'?¢ Drink up! Your body is composed of between 55 and 75% water, so replenish, people. Drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day. On the outside, your skin, eyes, hair and nails will all reap the rewards.

'?¢ If your skin feels a little tight and dry one day, skip the alcohol or caffeine'?¦they can dry you out further.

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'?¢ Even '??oily'? skin should remember its moisturizer. Even if your skin breaks out, it can be dry on the surface and oily underneath. You'??ll still want to hydrate the surface. Just choose a formula that doesn'??t clog and feels like part of you, not something extra. Choose an oil-free moisturizer, which has moisture-binding properties that won'??t worsen oily skin. If in three minutes, you don'??t know it'??s there, you'??ve made a good choice. I personally love my On a Clear Day Oil Free Moisturizer by Philosophy.

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'?¢ Also make sure your cleanser is gentle, slightly exfoliating and non-drying. "Squeaky clean" is actually a bad thing because it means you'??ve stripped your skin of its essential natural oils. Your cleanser should have a cream consistency, preferably with some kind of gentle abrasion in it, and rinses clean. One of my favorites is Fresh's Soy Cleanser. It's actually a gel creme, so it's über-gentle.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines, as well as her own EasyPeasyBlog.com.

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