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When the humidity drops, your skin needs special care. Adjust your routine to take better care of your skin during cold weather to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and avoid the discomfort of flaking, cracking or bleeding skin. Try these winter wonders to keep skin soft:

• Baby your skin. Using gentle cleansers and patting – not rubbing – your skin dry will help minimize irritation. Avoid heavily scented soaps or other cleansers that can contain moisture-stripping alcohol.

• Clean up your act. Bathing daily with a few caveats is recommended to help seal in moisture. First, keep humidity in the air by closing the bathroom door. Take short five- to 10-minute warm (not hot) baths or showers and follow with moisturizer within three minutes to trap water in the skin.

• Cover up. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every day all over skin. Apply lip balm with SPF 30 or higher throughout the day and especially when venturing outdoors. Petroleum jelly at bedtime can help extremely dry lips recover.

• Drink to your health. Women need about nine-and-a-half cups of water and men need approximately 12.5 cups of water daily to ensure proper organ function in both hot or cold weather.

• Give yourself a hand. Follow each hand washing with moisturizer and wear gloves outdoors to minimize exposure to cold, dry air. Wearing waterproof gloves can protect hands from the drying effects of washing dishes.

Health benefits of goal setting

Setting goals helps you reach the end result more quickly, increases motivation as you progress and reduces stress along the way. Improve your health by setting and working to achieve attainable goals. The No. 1 resolution in the United States each year is to lose weight. To set yourself up for success, try these tips:

• Exercise, drink water and eat a variety of healthfully prepared vegetables and fruits to ensure you stay hydrated and motivated to make smart food choices.

• Give yourself credit for every healthy choice, forgiving missteps along the way.

• Instead of getting mired in calorie content and portion size, let color, variety and freshness of foods help you make nutritious choices.

• Tweak your current habits to be healthier by adding a salad or switching to healthy fats when cooking.

Be sure to talk with your provider before starting an exercise program. Janet Bilyeu, APRN, of Siloam Springs Family Medicine, is accepting new and walk-in patients. Same-day appointments are available. To schedule an appointment today, call 479-215-3035. Siloam Springs Family Medicine is located at 3721 E. U.S. Hwy. 412 in Siloam Springs.

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