I used to be horrified by how ashy my skin was when I undressed at night. It was as though I had skipped lotion altogether. That’s because I was relying on the same moisturizers I used in warmer seasons to get me through the colder months. They weren’t working, and it showed.
So, I ramped up my winter skin care routine with products formulated to rid skin of unsightly ash while hydrating and protecting it in winter. Doing so is especially important as we get older, says Chicago-based dermatologist Caroline Robinson. She explains that we aren’t producing as many lipids, the natural fats in our skin that hold moisture and protect it. “If we are just more conscious of that,” Robinson says, “we can make adjustments and avoid the flaking and other potential complications that come with dry skin.”
To help you get through winter unscathed by dryness, look to these effective skin savers:
For Head-to-Toe Glow
Raw shea butter is a moisturizing miracle, but it can be grainy and hard to smooth on. Now Solutions’ Shea Nut Oil absorbs quickly; $15 at health food stores. Okay Pure Naturals’ Coconut Body Butter is a rich soufflé of coconut oil and shea butter that leaves no oily residue; $12 at www.okaypurenaturals.com.
For the Shower
Soap can be drying.
Eucerin’s Skin Calming Body Wash, a soap- and fragrance-free formula leaves skin clean and comfortable; $13 at drugstores. Sulfate-free
Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash gently cleanses and hydrates skin. $9 at drugstores.
For Facial Cleansing
Go for creamy cleansers that won’t strip skin of natural oils.
Laroche-Posay’s Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser gently washes away dirt and makeup and restores moisture; $15 at Ulta.
Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, soap- and fragrance-free, effectively washes away dirt, oil and makeup without drying; $10 at drugstores.
For Facial Moisturizing
Pond’s Nourishing Moisturizing Cream Crema S is a long-lasting moisturizer containing skin-nourishing apple, grapefruit and seaweed extracts; $8.50 at drugstores.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is lightweight and long-lasting; $30 at kiehls.com.
Protect them from chapping and cracking with
ChapStick’s Total Hydration 100% Natural Lip Balm in Sweet Peach with moisturizing argan oil and avocado butters; $3 at Target.
Or try Vaseline Lip Therapy, in rose, aloe or coco butter scents; $4.
For Long-Lasting Relief
Nivea’s Essentially Enriched 48hr Body Lotion is a creamy formula infused with almond oil to reduce roughness and keep skin smooth all day; $10 at drugstores.
Aveeno’s Skin Relief 24HR Moisturizing Lotion, infused with calming oat oil and shea butter, is another long-lasting formula; $9 at drugstores.
For Itchy Skin
Dry indoor air and winter woolens can leave skin itchy.
CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion soothes instantly; $18 at drugstores.
Curél’s Itch Defense lotion is another soothing option; $8 at drugstores.
For Beautiful Cuticles
Give them some TLC with
Skin Actives’ Nail Care Duo, a serum and an oil infused with nourishing essential oils; $15 at skinactives.com.
The Body Shop’s Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil comes in a handy two-in-one pen that allows you to apply nourishing sweet almond oil and gently push back cuticles; $8 at The Body Shop.
For Overnight Conditioning
Don’t snooze on the benefits of moisturizing your skin at night.
Vaseline Clinical Care Extremely Dry Skin Rescue Overnight Cream delivers intense hydration while you sleep; $6 at drugstores.
Gold Bond’s Overnight Deep Moisturizing cream replenishes and hydrates skin; $8 at drugstores. Rub a little extra cream into elbows, hands and feet.
Photographs by Getty Images, Shutterstock, Nivea, Chapstick; CeraVe; Now Solutions; Eucerin