How To: Combat Winter Dry Skin

It’s been called the most wonderful time of the year, but for your skin, winter is anything but. From chapped lips to scaly legs, cold weather can wreak serious havoc. Keep reading to find out expert tips for besting winter dry skin culprits and scooting through the season in (soft skin) style.

Skip The Scorching Showers

A hot shower feels so good on a cold day, but just like that third glass of spiked cider, it’s not really the best idea. “Long, hot showers strip protective lipids from your skin’s outer layer so it becomes dry and irritated and can’t act as an effective barrier,” says dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah.“Once this happens, it is very hard to reverse.” The solution? Take shorter, lukewarm showers, and apply a gentle, soap-free body wash with your hands, not a loofah or washcloth. Pat skin dry with a towel and apply a thick moisturizer like Kiehl’s Crème de Corps to seal in moisture. A home humidifier can also be beneficial—but don’t forget to clean it regularly!

Update Your Skincare Regimen

Still using your summertime skincare products? You might be making matters worse. “During the winter, stay away from alcohol or gel-based agents, since they dry the skin even more,” says dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel. Dr. Shah also recommends eliminating retinoids, harsh scrubs, and products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid. Instead, look for hyaluronic acid and natural oils for extra hydration. We love Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil for the face (bonus: won’t cause breakouts) and Thymes Body Lotion for everywhere else. And instead of piling on the powder, try a shine-free tinted moisturizer like Jouer Matte Moisture Tint.

Head to Toe Protection

To avoid red, wind-chapped skin (calling all winter sports nuts), Dr. Shah says “it’s crucial to keep skin moisturized and cover up as much as you can.” Heavy balms like J.R. Watkins Hand & Cuticle Salve are ideal for treating and preventing dry, cracked areas. If you tend to get red, itchy skin on arms and legs, your warm winter gear might be the problem. Layer cotton pieces under scratchy wool to see if that helps, or slather on an all-natural body butter like Nuxe Ultra Comfortable Body Cream before dressing.

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