Hitthing the slopes, going for a brisk run, taking a spin on the ice rink—there are plenty of things to love about winter, but what it does to your skin isn’t one of them. “The weather is colder and drier and there’s less humidity and moisture in the air,” says Vanessa Hernandez, consulting celebrity esthetician for L’Oreal Paris. Plus, constantly moving from the colder outdoors to the heated indoors can dry skin out. Using a humidifier while you sleep and drinking at least eight glasses of water a day can help keep skin hydrated, says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a dermatologist based in New York City. But for certain dry spots you may need to consider a little TLC with these strategies.
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Dry Spot: Face
SOFTEN UP: Can’t get your natural glow back? Layering products can help. “Use a serum, then a moisturizer on top of it morning and night,” advises Hernandez. And just like your wardrobe, you should swap out your skin care regimen for the season. Opt for heavier hydrating creams that are multitaskers, such as for boosting collagen, delivering anti-agers, and increasing elasticity.
TRY: StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer $79, strivectin.com
SOFTEN UP: We use our hands all day, every day, and that takes a toll. “They’re the most hardworking and overexposed part of our bodies,” says Naomi Gregory, spa director of operations at QT Sydney. Your hands are also the most frequently washed part of your body, which regularly exposes them to potentially harsh chemicals in soap and cleansers. “All these things strip away our natural oils and dehydrate skin,” she adds. Always carry hand cream—look for ingredients like shea butter, petrolatum, lanolin, or lactic acid— and apply every time after you wash your hands to create a barrier.
SOFTEN UP: Cracked heels are a common side effect of the season. “A rough exfoliator, such as a pumice stone or exfoliating scrub, will help get rid of dead skin,” advises Bowe. “Make sure to apply a heavy, moisturizing cream after getting out of the shower.” Lock in hydration by slathering on lotion before bedtime and sleeping in socks.
TRY: Start with Sol de Janeiro Samba 2-Step Foot Fetish Care’s Foot Smoothing Board to exfoliate, then apply the Foot Fetish Cream to help hydrate with needed nutrients. $27, sephora.com
SOFTEN UP: “The thick skin on these areas has minimal oil glands, which naturally make it more prone to dryness, along with the bending and constant friction it faces,” Bowe says. “These areas are in constant contact with the fabric of your clothing, and the rubbing itself can thicken skin.” You have only about a five-minute window after showering or bathing to trap in moisture and prevent calluses, she warns, so make sure to moisturize rough areas immediately.
TRY: Dr. Jart Ceramidin Body Cream is an enriched balm that penetrates deeply to protect the moisture barrier and boost absorption. $28, sephora.com
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Dry Spot: Lips
SOFTEN UP: “As well as always being exposed, the skin on our lips is incredibly thin and sensitive,” Gregory says. “Sunlight, wind, low humidity, and makeup all wreak havoc with the natural oils in our lips, so it’s really important to keep them moisturized and protected.” That means always keeping a balm handy—and stop licking your lips, which can make them more dry and irritated. A lip scrub once a week prevents a parched pucker. Bowe suggests making your own by mixing equal parts sugar and water.
TRY: Leave Skintreat by Look Beauty Spa Intensive Lip Care Gel Patch on 15–20 minutes to let the shea butter, cranberry extract, jojoba oil, and vitamin E sink in. $10, amazon.com
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“Exfoliating helps slough away dead skin, revealing younger cells that reflect light more evenly, resulting in a glow,” says Bowe. It also helps products penetrate skin better. Try to exfoliate at least three times a week, followed by a serum or cream. “Start with something that has small granules such as sugar or seeds and work up to stronger or chemical exfoliants, like glycolic, alpha- hydroxy acid, or retinol,” Hernandez says.
Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, which boosts new cell production, explains Hernandez. Opt for a smaller granule for the face and larger granules for the body, such as Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. $67, fresh.com
Glycolic acid exfoliates and softens fine lines and wrinkles, says Hernandez. She suggests using one once a week, such as L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser. $7, lorealparisusa.com
Sea salt is full of minerals that exfoliate while nourishing at the same time, so it’s great for aged or sun-damaged skin,” adds Hernandez. Ahava Softening Butter Salt Scrub is packed with the stuff. $24, ahava.com