5 Winter Skin Savers

Medically reviewed in January 2021

The winter weather outside might be frightful, but your skin can stay delightful. That’s right! Say goodbye to chapped lips and dry, cracked skin. We’ve got five tricks to take your skin from drab to fab all season long.

1. Lock in moisture
Between the cold air outside and the dry air inside (the unfortunate drawback of running your heater), your skin loses a lot of moisture. Couple that with the fact that 80% of the sun’s UV rays can reflect off the snow, and it’s a perfect storm for wrinkles. To help keep your skin looking youthful, use a double-duty moisturizer that contains a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 that contains these key ingredients. Your fingers, especially around the nails, are also vulnerable to winter weather. To protect your hands, try using a heavy moisturizing cream that’s free of perfumes and other additives that may irritate your skin. Find out the best time to slather on the moisturizer.

2. Feed your skin wrinkle-fighters
You’ve probably heard that getting vitamin C can help you fight a cold, but it’s also a secret weapon against wrinkles. Vitamin C helps plump up collagen and stops skin from sagging—so make sure to put oranges, grapefruits or other citrus fruits on your grocery list. Not a fan of citrus? Using a topical cream that has vitamin C can also fight wrinkles and prevent dryness.

3. Wash with the right stuff
You want to keep your skin clean, but you don’t want to overdo it. In the winter switch to a gentle pH-balanced cleanser that won’t irritate your skin and that keeps moisture in. If your skin is super dry, try washing your face only once a day instead of twice. And remember to pat your face dry with a towel so that you don’t dry out your skin even more.

4. Don’t forget to exfoliate
Sloughing off dry, dead skin cells is essential in the winter because it helps reveal new, more moisture-rich cells. Plus, it reduces the appearance of fine lines, and who doesn’t want that? Make sure you choose a gentle exfoliant that won’t irritate and dry out your skin even more. Also, look for products that are enzyme-based. These products have ingredients like papain, bromelain or protease. And don’t forget to moisturize afterwards. Want to make a homemade exfoliant? Try this dermatologist-recommended recipe.

5. Love your lips
Cold weather can leave your lips chapped and cracking at the corners. But if you reach for lip balm, not just any product will help. Some lip balms actually contain ingredients that can dry out your lips even more. Avoid lip balm with mineral oil. It creates a film on your lips that fools your skin into thinking it can stop producing its own oils.

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