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How can I keep my skin hydrated in a dry climate?

The question: Three years ago, I moved to Edmonton, which has a much drier climate than what I am used to. I am no longer able to use foundation, as my skin is so dry the foundation peels off. Do you have any suggestions on how to get my skin looking its best again?

The answer: Sounds like you're going through a rough patch - literally. I suggest re-hydrating your skin, which will be better in the long run. First, exfoliate every day. This may cause irritation, so make sure to use an extremely gentle exfoliant, such as a microfoliant from Dermalogica.

Next, try a moisture mask two to three times a week. If you buy one, look for the words "hydrating" or "moisturizing" and avoid gel formulas. Alternatively, apply a thick layer of your regular moisturizer to cleansed skin, wipe it off after 10 minutes and then continue with your regular cleansing routine.

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Lastly, use a natural oil like almond or olive in place of your night cream. When used sparingly, they are absorbed by the skin well and help to soothe the irritation and inflammation that super-dry skin is prone to. As for makeup, try switching to a tinted moisturizer that contains some oil instead of a foundation. It will impart some colour until your skin returns to a healthy state, after which you can go back to your regular makeup routine.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Have a beauty question? E-mail

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