Since arriving in chilly, arid New York City from Mississippi a few weeks ago, I've been plagued by flaky, parched skin and chapped lips. So I grilled dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, for his best tips on fighting climate-induced dryness:
- Thicken up your skincare routine by choosing a moisturizer that's one level heavier than what you normally use. If you usually go for a gel formula, try a lotion; if you normally use a lotion, try a cream; and if your go-to is a cream, try a balm, salve or oil.
- Even your ears need a little TLC in the winter, because they're often exposed to the elements: Apply the same product you use for your face on your ears as well.
- Don’t neglect your lips! Your lips have fewer oil glands than other parts of your body, so they're highly susceptible to cracking and sun damage. Slather on a lip balm with SPF, Nivea A Kiss of Protection Lip Care SPF 30, every day.
- Using antibacterial gels and frequent hand-washing during flu season can cause dry skin. Help your hands by hydrating with a thick cream such as Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy after each wash. For severe dryness, cover your hands and feet with petroleum jelly followed by gloves or socks before bed to help skin heal overnight.
- Skip the soap: It can strip the body of oil and dehydrate skin. Try a moisturizing body wash like Neosporin Moisture Essentials Daily Body Wash that will gently cleanse dry skin.
- Super-hot showers feel great during the winter, but the heat can break down the skin’s lipid barrier. Prevent damage by taking cool or lukewarm baths.
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern