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
This week’s favorite find comes courtesy of my sister: She’s suffered from eczema all her life and has tried everything to heal it, slathering on the richest oils and thickest salves, all to no avail. I recently sent her a tube of Weleda Skin Food, and it received rave reviews from the toughest customer. The 90-year-old formula is chock-full of natural healers like sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, rosemary, chamomile, and calendula extracts that soothe damaged skin. It’s also great for repairing gym-worn parts like elbows, heels, and hands: One lightweight tube packs a big hydrating punch. What’s your cure for painfully dry skin?
As the shops in New York City start filling their windows with festive decorations, cold air is creeping in, too. These beauty treats keep us hydrated on chilly days (and the delicious scents are a calorie-free bonus!):
Chapstick Lip Balm in Cool and Soothing Peppermint: This twist on the classic lip balm seals in moisture with a cooling sensation and prevents chapping. Plus, the it smells and tastes like peppermint, so it instantly freshens breath.
Lumene Spa Repairing Body Butter: This formula is ultra-creamy and has a refreshing citrus scent. I use it at night before bed, and wake up with smooth, silky skin. The formula is light enough to wear during the day, too.
Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Foot Cream: This is my guilty pleasure after a long day at work. The rich cream has the aroma of Serendipity’s famous hot chocolate, plus peppermint oil to relieve feet after a day of pounding the pavement.
What are your favorite beauty indulgences for brisk days?
-Kari LaPrade, beauty intern