Archive Monthly Archives: January 2017

10 Tips on How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Put the pieces in place to ensure your success.

Finding balance as you plan your New Year’s resolutions is important. You want to challenge yourself to do enough to make a difference, but not so much that you can’t follow through.

The month of January just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t make some resolutions for the New Year. Most of us go through the motions every year, promising ourselves that this time we’re going to eat better, or lose weight, or get into shape. Trouble is, we tend to start out strong but then the old habits creep back in–– often in a matter of weeks.

Part of the problem is that many of us approach New Year’s resolutions as a sprint, rather than a marathon. We set our sights on making a lot of changes all at once, and plunge ourselves into a makeover that we can’t sustain. Rather than a quick sprint to the finish line, though, your resolutions are something you’ll need to practice steadily––for days, weeks, months…for the long haul.

If you want your New Year’s resolutions to stick with you all year long, slow and steady will win the race. Here are some tips to help you.

10 Tips for Making Your Resolutions Stick All Year Long

Own Up to The Behavior You Want to Change.

In order to change bad habits and replace them with healthier ones, you first need to reflect on your current behavior. For instance, if you know that you eat more than you should, it can be helpful to both acknowledge that you overeat and, at the same time, allow yourself to be a little “fed up” with your behavior, too.

Make Resolutions Reasonable.

The first step in keeping a resolution is to make sure it’s reasonable in the first place. That’s a lot better than setting unrealistic goals and giving up right out of the starting gate.

Make Your Resolutions Specific.

When you put your resolutions into words, make them as specific as you can. It’s great to say that you want to “eat less fat,” but that’s too vague. Instead, you might set a measurable goal to “limit my fat intake to 40 grams a day.”

Prioritize Your Resolutions.

If your list of resolutions is fairly long, you might want to prioritize them and tackle a few of the easier ones first. This can help to give you the confidence that you can, in fact, achieve what you’ve set out to do. But if you feel that you’re trying to make too many changes at once, you might need to trim your list a little bit.

Commit to Your Resolutions.

Once you’ve decided what your resolutions are, write them down. Putting your challenges and plans in writing will help you commit to them.

Plan to Put Your New Habits in Place.

Once you’ve made your commitments, you’ll need to plan for how you can put your new habits into practice. If you’re working on your eating habits, have you cleared all the junk food out of the house? If you’re planning to cook more meals at home, do you have the right foods in your refrigerator, pantry and freezer?

Practice New Habits and Keep Tabs on Yourself.

Be patient––it takes a while for new habits to settle in and feel natural and comfortable. Keep track of the “measurables” that you included in your resolutions––such as your calorie or fat intake, the number of fruit and vegetable servings you’ve had, or the number of times per week that you packed a healthy lunch instead of eating out.

Learn from your setbacks.

Rather than letting setbacks defeat you, try to learn from them. Try to figure out what led you to slip up, and figure out how you can prevent it from happening next time.

Build on and reward your successes.

If you’ve made behavior changes in the past that have stayed with you, maybe you can build on that success by tweaking your resolution a little bit. And don’t forget to reward yourself for your successes and acknowledge your accomplishments.

Build a Support System.

Friends, family members and online communities can be tremendous sources of support. So, let those around you know what you intend to achieve. And when you offer support to others who need it, it may help you in your own efforts, too.

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Three Tips to Help You Squeeze in a Workout

You can always find the time to do what’s
good for you.

Here’s how to stop using excuses and finally squeeze in a workout.

When it comes to finding motivation to get up off the couch and improve your fitness level, sometimes it takes more than willpower alone to make it happen.

‘I’m too busy and I can’t find the time.’

This is the number one excuse I hear for not exercising. You may find it hard to believe, but this was also my go-to excuse after having triplets. It was an excuse that really worked, because who would ever disagree? My four young kids sure do take up a lot of time.

And this ‘I’m too busy’ excuse sounds so much better and less embarrassing than the truth: ‘I’m just too tired and I don’t have the motivation.’

The reality is that we can all make time to add activity into our life. All we need to do is realize that excuses will only hurt us in the long term. Sometimes it takes a health scare or an embarrassing moment to force us to address the issue. But why wait for that to happen before improving your life?

My changing moment occurred when I was asked to leave a steam room at the spa after being lectured in front of a crowd on how heat could harm my unborn child. Sounds awful, right? The real problem was that I wasn’t even pregnant—my babies were five months old already. Talk about a cringe worthy moment! This was all the motivation I needed to get my body and fitness back on track.

Three ways to squeeze in a workout into your day:

1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it definitely takes motivation not to hit the snooze button and lie back down.

    • My next piece of advice may seem crazy but it worked for me. For the first few weeks wear a loose fitting workout kit to bed or place your workout outfit with your tennis shoes right next to your bed. When the alarm starts buzzing, put on your socks and shoes and get to it.
    • Working out at home or close to home is the best way to start out, because it removes any excuses about joining a gym or having to travel anywhere. Sure, jogging along a beach at dawn may sound nice, but in reality, you probably need to get your workout done and dusted as quickly as possible.
    • As your body gets used to the time adjustment, add an extra 10 minutes so that you can actually comb your hair and brush your teeth before you go.

2. Pack your workout clothes and take them to work.

If you’re not a morning person, then it’s time for Plan B: the lunchtime power-walk. Schedule it in like you would a dentist or your hair salon appointment. It’s funny that we wouldn’t dream of not getting our hair cut, but taking care of our health often gets overlooked or sidelined.

    • Asking a co-worker to join you will give you the extra motivation not to skip a session.

3. Split your workout into smaller segments.

If finding a full 30 minutes is too difficult, then try to do three or more mini workouts. It’s fine to accumulate your workout throughout your day.

    • This tip works especially well for stay-at-home-moms with young children, because minding a child for 10 minutes while you jump around and squeeze in a workout is a realistic goal.
    • If you work in an office and sit down all day, try taking a brief 10 minutes to stretch out or walk around the office. It may improve your energy level and boost your concentration.

Making an activity part of your lifestyle instead of a chore makes results easier to achieve.

Once I decided to ditch my excuses and made time in my day to exercise, I was able to quickly progress to a regular spinning class, and being active became something I just did rather than something I had to think about. People even started complementing me on all the extra energy I seemed to have.

So, no excuses––everybody can find time to exercise.

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Seven Face Cleansing Tips for Healthier Skin

January 30, 2017

A clean face leads to healthy-looking skin.

You know my mantra—cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! Achieving beautiful and clear skin can sometimes be as simple as having a clean face.

Having a clean face is vital for clear skin, and I cannot stress the importance of cleansing enough. Here are seven tips for a clean face that will help put you on the path to clear skin in no time. We don’t just need to wash away the surface grime—we also need to slough dead skin cells!

How to cleanse your way to healthy-looking skin

    Cleanse your skin twice a day: every morning and every night before bed, no matter what. Just because your skin looks clean, that doesn’t mean it is. Chances are it’s covered with invisible impurities that can harm the skin. Get rid of them.
    Avoid ordinary bar soaps and stick with facial cleansers that are gentle and designed for your skin type.
    Never dry your skin with the family hand towel! If it’s not clean, you could be transferring bacteria onto your fresh, clean face. Try a quick sniff test. If your towel doesn’t smell like it’s fresh from the laundry, then you might want to ditch it and grab a clean one.
    Only rinse with warm water, never with water that is too hot or too cold. Extremes in temperature may irritate your skin and cause damage.
    Exfoliate at least once a week. Gentle exfoliation buffs away dead cells on your face, resulting in smoother, brighter skin. Just like you would for a cleanser, make sure to find a scrub that’s suitable for your skin type.
    Invest in a facial once in a while. Just like you would go to a dentist for a teeth cleaning, your skin needs a deep cleansing, too! Frequency of facials depends on skin type. Work with your aesthetician to determine how often a deep cleaning is needed.
    Be gentle when cleansing around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body. Handle with extra care.

Do you already do all of these things? Good for you! We’re all busy and sometimes it’s the simple things that start to slip, but a clean face and clear skin will help give you confidence.

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The Benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition

Whole grains are high in protein.

A plant-based diet packs a lot of nutrition, thanks to an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Plant-based diets and plant-based nutrition are both terms that we’re hearing more and more these days.

While the terms may be new to you, the concept of plant-based nutrition is not really a new one. Plant-based diets are, for the most part, vegetarian in nature. But the definition isn’t a strict one. A plant-based diet really describes your approach to eating, rather than applying a label to you as a vegetarian or a vegan.

Simply put, a plant-based diet is just that: a way of eating in which there is an emphasis on plant foods in the diet. Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to declare yourself a vegetarian or a vegan. But it does mean that your diet will include plenty of nature’s bounty—in the form of colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

The benefits of eating more plant foods are well-known and numerous. Plant foods are nutrient-dense, which means that they provide an abundance of nutrients relative to their calorie cost. Fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains are terrific sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and they’re naturally cholesterol-free. Most contribute a fair amount of fiber, too, so they help to fill you up and keep your digestive tract running smoothly. When you include plenty of these nutritious, filling foods in your diet, it leaves less room in your stomach for less healthy fare.

Plant-Based Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats

Protein, carbohydrate and fat are the ‘Big Three’ nutrients, which is why they’re called the macronutrients. You need all three in the right balance in order for your body to function properly, and you also need micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Different plant foods can provide these nutrients to the body, along with phytonutrients, which are naturally existing compounds in plant foods that are believed to contribute to health.

Most foods, from plant or animal, are not strictly proteins or carbs or fats, although we tend to think of them that way. For instance, the bulk of the calories in whole grains are supplied by carbohydrate, which is why you probably think of brown rice as a carb. But whole grains are also a source of protein, and they contain small amounts of fat, too. Some people think of nuts as a protein source (which they are), but they contain a significant amount of fat, as well as dietary fiber.

If you’re thinking about incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet, the following are the main sources of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the plant world. Since some foods provide more than one macronutrient, they are mentioned in more than one category.

    Plant-Based Proteins. The major sources of plant-based protein include beans, peas and lentils, but whole grains also make a contribution. You may think of whole grains as more of a carb than a protein, and that’s true—most grains have more carbohydrate calories than protein calories. But I include them here because whole grains contribute important essential amino acids to the diet. Most vegans know that in order to obtain the full complement of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins in the body), it’s important to consume both legumes (beans, peas, lentils) as well as whole grains.

    While most plant-based diets place an emphasis on whole foods, I see no reason not to include other plant-based foods that are derived from these whole foods. So, in addition to legumes and whole grains (brown or wild rice, oats, quinoa, millet and the like), other sources of plant-based protein include soy milk, soy cheese and soy yogurt, tofu, tempeh and protein powders made from plant sources, such as soy, pea, rice, hemp, oats or quinoa.

    Plant-Based Carbohydrates include fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. Beans, peas and lentils also contain carbohydrate, but they are primarily a protein source. These whole foods contribute not only carbohydrate—your body’s preferred source of fuel—but they are also great sources of filling fiber. In case you’re wondering, the only natural animal source of carbohydrate is milk. Milk naturally contains the sugar lactose, which is a carbohydrate.

    Plant-Based Fats include nuts and coconut, seeds, avocado and olives. This includes other foods made from these sources, such as nut and seed butters, nut and seed oils, avocado oil and olive oil. With the exception of coconut, plant-based fats are primarily unsaturated fats and are generally considered to be better for your health than highly saturated fats found in animal foods.

When you think of a plant-based diet, you might be thinking only of fruits and vegetables, but beans and grains count, too, of course. And don’t forget those herbs and spices that you use to season your foods—they’re plants, too. Add up all the plant foods you eat in a day, and it’s possible you’re already consuming more of a plant-based diet than you thought.

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Stay Motivated and Maintain Your Best Shape All Year

Make a plan and stick with it.

How can you stay motivated and maintain your personal best shape all year long?

If your body confidence and attitude toward health and fitness fluctuates depending on the time of year, you’re not alone. Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts can struggle to maintain a healthy body composition and fitness level year-round. Changes in the weather and increased family and business commitments are often the main cause of derailing people from their healthy, active lifestyle.

The best advice I can give to help you maintain your personal best shape is to avoid what I call the domino effect. Let me explain. Nutrition and activity go hand in hand. One inevitably affects the other, and it’s a balancing act that each of us has to master. Falling off track with your nutrition plan can make you feel less motivated to exercise. Once you start skipping your regular daily activity, you may feel sluggish and even crave sugary treats to compensate for your lack of energy. We all know that eating more and exercising less can play havoc with your body composition, and make you gain weight quite quickly. It’s a vicious cycle that’s quite hard to break.

Here are some tips that you can use to help you keep your best shape throughout the year.

How to Stay Motivated for Fitness


Weekdays in the office or taking care of family can get quite hectic, so plan to get up early and get your exercise routine out of the way in the morning. There’s a greater chance that lunchtime and after-work commitments will interfere with mid-day or after-work fitness plans, so avoid that by being an early bird for a few weeks. It only takes a few days for your body to adjust to a new wake-up time, so power through the first few difficult days.

Immediate Fix

Avoid the domino effect by making healthy daily choices and staying active, regardless of the season or your busy schedule. When life does get in the way of your healthy routine, make sure that you get back on track the very next day—so that one lazy day doesn’t turn into a lazy month.

Stay in Motion

When our bodies are in motion, we tend to feel good and are naturally inclined to make healthier nutrition choices. After all, when you’re slugging it out on the treadmill, the last thing you want to do is ruin all of your hard work with too much dessert. If you’re struggling to be consistent with your healthy eating plan, schedule in a few extra workouts to help jump-start your diet.

Make It Fun

Keep your exercise routines interesting and exciting indoors by experimenting with new machines and exercises. If it’s cold outside, you can still exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Just be sure to dress appropriately with layers.

Stay Committed

It’s very easy to slip out of your healthy, active routine. Once you stop, it can be difficult to get yourself going again. That’s why I believe that making a commitment to staying active year-round may be the best approach to ensuring your nutrition plan and fitness results stay on track. Use a daily planner so that you can maximize any free time that you have, and ensure that you dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes a day to your physical wellbeing. Taking a day off for rest is important. But if you know that a lazy day will make you choose unhealthy food options, try to ensure that your rest day is active with a walk or some light exercise.

Don’t get into the cycle of resting and hibernating during winter or lazing in the heat during summer. Instead, do what’s best for your body and stay consistent. If you want to get and stay in shape, you must find ways to stay active year-round. When it comes to getting and staying fit, making good daily lifestyle choices is the most important success factor.

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Good morning,Life is so short. When you start looking at how it relates to history, 100 years is just a blink in time. Why waste that time on hate? Love people and don’t forget to tell them. Be real about it. You might not have that chance again. Who do you need to tell today how much you love them? 

“Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.”

-Ray Stannard Baker

Have a great day!


What Are Carbohydrates? How Many ‘Carbs’ Do You Need?

Do you know your good carbs from bad?

Do you have a good handle on carbohydrates? Essentially, you get carbohydrates from a wide range of foods, and you need them to keep your body’s engine running.

Just what are carbs, anyway? As much as people talk about carbohydrates, you’d think that everyone actually knows where we get our carbs and how much carbohydrate we should be eating every day–or not. In truth, carbohydrates have been both praised and punished—in part because they’re largely misunderstood.

Carbohydrates explained

When I say the word carbs, you probably picture starchy foods like noodles, bread, rice and potatoes. And you’d be right. But you’d be just as right if fruits or vegetables popped into your head. And you’d still be right if you thought of sugar or honey or jam—or even a glass of milk. That’s because lots of foods supply carbohydrate, and it’s a good thing, too. When it comes to keeping your engine running, your body’s first choice of fuel isn’t fat or protein—it’s carbohydrate.

We get our carbs from a wide range of foods. But clearly some of them are healthier for us than others. That’s why you sometimes hear people refer to different carbs as being ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ What they’re trying to say is that the good carbohydrates are those that are the least processed—foods like whole fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beans and whole grains. Dairy products also fall in this category, because foods like low-fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese deliver carbohydrate to the body in the form of naturally occurring sugars.

The other reason these carbs are good is that they provide more than just energy to the body. There are also vitamins and minerals tagging along. And in the case of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains, we also pick up some fiber and antioxidants.

On the other hand, the highly processed refined bad carbs—sugars, pastries, white rice, and white flour breads, cereals, pasta and crackers—have little to offer the body beyond just calories. That’s why it’s best to steer towards the whole fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans to meet your carbohydrate needs.

How much carbohydrate do you need?

How much carbohydrate should you eat every day? It’s not a simple question to answer. That’s because the amount of carbohydrate you need to eat depends, in large part, on how many calories you burn every day. But it also depends on how active you are. It’s suggested that you aim to eat roughly half your calories from carbohydrate. But if you do a lot of extensive exercise, you might need a bit more. Some people try a very low carb approach to weight loss, but it often backfires. When you cut your intake too far, you may not provide your body with enough carbohydrate to fuel your active lifestyle.

You can estimate your carbohydrate needs fairly simply. If you eat 1600 calories a day, about half of your calories should come from carbohydrate. In this case that would be about 800 calories a day from carbohydrate. Since every gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories, you’d divide your suggested carbohydrate calories by 4 to figure out how many grams you should eat per day. In this case, 800 calories of carbohydrate is 200 grams.

Here’s a guide to the amount of carbohydrate you should aim for daily, along with a list of some healthy carbohydrate foods with their carbohydrate content.

Learn your personal carbohydrates needs

Daily calorie needs             Suggested daily carb intake (50% calories)

1200                                                    150 grams

1400                                                    175 grams

1600                                                    200 grams

1800                                                    225 grams

2000                                                    250 grams

2200                                                    275 grams

2400                                                    300 grams

Essential guide to carb levels in common foods

Serving Size
Carbohydrate (grams)
Apricots 3 whole 12
Apple 1 medium 25
Blackberries 1 cup (150g) 14
Blueberries 1 cup (150g) 21
Cantaloupe 1 cup cubes (150g) 13
Grapes 1 cup (150g) 27
Grapefruit ½ medium fruit 11
Kiwi 1 average 10
Mango ½ large 25
Nectarine 1 medium 15
Orange 1 medium 18
Papaya 1 cup cubes (150g) 16
Peach 1 medium 15
Pear 1 medium 27
Pineapple 1 cup, diced (150g) 22
Plums 2 small 15
Strawberries 1 cup, sliced (150g) 13
Tangerine 1 medium 12
Watermelon 1 cup balls (150g) 12
Vegetables (cooked, unless noted)
Artichoke 1 medium 14
Asparagus 1 cup (180g) 8
Beets 1 cup (160g) 16
Broccoli, cooked, chopped 1 cup (185) 10
Broccoli, raw 1 cup (70g) 4
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup (150g) 11
Cabbage, cooked 1 cup (150g) 8
Cabbage, raw 1 cup (70g) 4
Cauliflower, cooked, chopped 1 cup (120g) 5
Cauliflower, raw, chopped 1 cup (100g) 5
Carrots, cooked 1 cup slices (150g) 13
Carrots, raw 1 large 7
Celery 2 large stalks 4
Corn 1 ear 14
Cucumber 1 medium 4
Eggplant 1 cup cubes (100g) 9
Green beans 1 cup (125g) 10
Green peas 1 cup (160g) 25
Kale, cooked, chopped 1 cup (130g) 7
Kale, raw, chopped 1 cup (65g) 5
Leeks 1 cup (100g) 8
Lettuce, shredded 1 cup (50g) 2
Mushrooms, cooked 1 cup (150g) 8
Mushrooms, raw 1 cup sliced (70g) 2
Onion, cooked 1 cup (200) 21
Peppers, chopped, cooked 1 cup (135g) 9
Peppers, chopped, raw 1 cup (150) 9
Spinach, cooked 1 cup (180g) 7
Spinach, raw 1 cup (30g) 1
Tomatoes, cooked 1 cup (100g) 13
Tomatoes, raw, chopped 1 cup (150g) 7
Winter squash 1 cup (250g) 22
Zucchini (summer squash) 1 cup (180g) 5
Grains, Beans, Starches
Beans (black, pinto, etc.) ½ cup, cooked (85g) 20
Brown Rice ½ cup, cooked (100g) 22
Lentils ½ cup, cooked (100g) 20
Potato, baked 1 medium 36
Quinoa ½ cup, cooked (100g) 20
Spaghetti, whole wheat ½ cup, cooked (70g) 18
Bread, Whole Grain 1 slice 14
Dairy Products
Cottage cheese 1 cup (225g) 8
Milk, nonfat or low-fat 1 cup (250ml) 12
Soy Milk, plain 1 cup (250ml) 8
Yogurt, plain, nonfat 1 cup (250g) 19

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Six Tips for Flawless Winter Skin

January 24, 2017

Moisturize all year round.

Whatever the season, good skin is a cornerstone of beauty confidence. Sometimes good skin is harder to achieve in winter, but it’s possible to look and feel flawless. If you’re worried about losing your summer glow now that colder weather is upon us, don’t be. There are plenty of basic winter skin care tips that will keep your skin glowing all year long.

As the northern half of the world is starting to feel the chill in the air with the change of seasons, many of us are also starting to see changes in our skin. A winter skin care routine is a necessity, especially for those of us who live in cold, dry climates. In winter, there is less moisture in the air, and indoor heating systems can be dehydrating to the skin. It’s important to address this dryness in your winter skin care plan to keep your skin looking luminous.

Best Winter Skin Care Tips

Winter skin care rule 1: Stay hydrated

With hot temperatures during the summer months, it’s natural to automatically drink more fluids. Don’t lessen your water intake just because it’s getting cooler outside. You might not be craving a tall glass of ice water like you would in summer, but try room temperature water or a refreshing cup of warm tea to keep yourself hydrated.

Winter skin care rule 2: Take care of your lips

Chapped lips in winter are a downer. They can be painful when exposed to extreme cold temperatures, and chapping makes it harder for any cosmetics to stay in place and look good. Make sure to protect your lips with a moisturizing balm that includes SPF. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sun can’t harm your lips, so don’t skip the sun protection either. Which brings me to my next winter skin care rule…

Winter skin care rule 3: Wear sunscreen

Just because it’s not warm outside doesn’t mean there aren’t UV rays in the air. So, don’t skimp on the SPF just because it’s winter. If you need extra moisture in your winter skin care regimen, look for moisturizing sunscreens or wear your sunscreen over your existing moisturizer.

Winter skin care rule 4: Don’t forget your hands

Just like your lips, the skin on your hands is thin and delicate and can be susceptible to chapping in cold weather. Keep your hands moisturized with hand cream, and reapply throughout the cold days. To make it convenient, carry travel-sized hand cream wherever you go—keep some at your office, in your car and in your bag. And don’t forget gloves. When venturing outside, gloves will not only keep you warm but they’ll protect the skin on your hands from cold temperatures!

Winter skin care rule 5: Choose cosmetics wisely

Ever notice how foundation or blushes don’t apply as easily during wintertime? That’s because skin tends to be drier in winter, leading to flaking and dry patches. In times like these, using a primer will help cosmetics go on more smoothly. You can also try tinted moisturizer, which will moisturize and give your skin a little coverage without drying. When picking cosmetics during winter, look for moisturizing formulas. Generally speaking, cream blushes and liquid foundations will give you more moisturizing benefits than those that are powder-based.

Winter skin care rule 6: Consider changing products based on season

Your skin care needs may change drastically between seasons. That’s particularly true if you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations between summer and winter (or between outside and inside air temperatures, thanks to fearsome central heating). Only you know what feels good on your skin. If you have skin that experiences more dryness in winter than other seasons, for example, you might consider switching to moisturizing formulas in everything from cleansers to cosmetics.

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