The Northeast is about to be bombarded with snow thanks to storm Hercules, and Allure has broken down everything you need to know for your skin care survival this Winter.
When it's snowing in the Middle East, you know that it's gotten really, really cold. And what happens when temperatures take a nose dive? So do your skin's moisture levels. But frigid weather is only part of the problem: Long, hot showers, sweltering offices, and harsh soaps are also to blame. Luckily, dry skin can often be alleviated by Winter-proofing your skin-care routine. Here's a few ways to start.
Exfoliate. It sounds counterintuitive, but gently scrubbing (and we mean very gently) will actually help your lotions and creams work better. As your skin dries out, dead skin cells stop shedding, keeping moisturizer from fully sinking in. Rev up the process by using a mild exfoliant, like a jojoba-bead scrub or a cleanser with fruit enzymes. I'm a big fan of Aveeno Positively Ageless Resurfacing Scrub ($10).
Related: Prevent Dry Skin Post Plane
Upgrade your moisturizer. Many of us need richer face and body creams during the winter. When shopping around, look for the ingredients like glycerin or sorbitol, which are humectants that help pull moisture from the air into your skin. Everyone in the office is obsessed with Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator ($50) for night. For your day cream, remember that you still need an SPF to protect from UV rays (not only are they cancer-causing, but they can also prevent skin from holding onto moisture). We like Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion SPF 30 ($15).
Get it on in the shower. Or at least right afterward. Studies have shown that applying body lotion in the three-minute window right after you shower is best. (Otherwise, moisture starts to disappear from your skin before you can lock it in with lotion.) I keep a bottle of Eau Thermale Avene Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion ($29) on my sink so that I can spread it on my arms and legs after lightly patting down with a towel (that way my skin is damp but not dripping).
Beware of your water bottle. Believe it or not, it can actually contribute to dry, chapped lips. Here's how: When you take a swig from a water bottle, you're often left with droplets on your mouth. When these molecules evaporate, they take moisture from your lips with them. You don't have to go thirsty, though. Swiping on a lip balm or ointment like Aquaphor Lip Repair ($5) throughout the day will help. So will buying a box of straws.
Invest in a humidifier. It'll replace precious moisture in the air (heating systems tend to suck up every last drop of it). The small tabletop models are ideal for single rooms and small apartments — just be sure to fill them with cold water to prevent bacteria from growing inside. Try Crane's Penguin EE-865. It was ranked highest among tabletop models by Consumer Reports and retails at only $40. Plus, it's the cutest humidifier I've ever seen.
More from Allure: