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"Oh, my aching skin!"

I cringe every winter because I know that's the time of year when I tend to show the "true signs" of aging. My dry and cracked skin is an eye sore. But then, I find myself looking liked a "greased pig" because of the heavy ointment I feel I have to put on.

Aging brings about so many changes to our bodies. Not only do we have to deal with tucking in because we're filling out, we also have to take extra precautions when it comes to skin care. Winter can make dry skin especially irritating. The December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers tips to relieve winter itch.

Here are some tips to keep you from "drying out":

Soak in the tub: Keep the water lukewarm. The temperature shouldn’t be above 90 F. Adding bath oil to the water may help retain and replenish the oil in your skin.

Use soap sparingly: If possible, limit soap use to your face, armpits, genitals, hands and feet. Avoid antibacterial and deodorant soaps. Mild cleaners such as Cetaphil, Dove or Vanicream are less drying. Avoid products with fragrances and lauryl sulfates, which can be irritating.

Pat skin dry: Avoid rubbing or wiping your skin. Instead, leave it moist by gently patting or blotting with your towel.

Moisturize: Immediately after drying off, apply a thick moisturizing cream or ointment. Avoid creams or lotions that contain alcohol.

Use a humidifier: Keep indoor air moisture levels at 40 to 50 percent. Keep your house on the cool side; between 68 F and 75 F is reasonable.

I'm still trying to grow old gracefully but every time something just keeps getting in my way.

Beverly Mahone is an author and motivational speaker. Her book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age" is available on


Colleen said…
I found your site on BlogHer - I have a blog about training for the 3-Day walk for breast cancer as well as other health/fitness topics - would you be interested in a link or entry exchange?

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